Journal article

Evolution of the Pygmy Phenotype: Evidence of Positive Selection from Genome-wide Scans in African, Asian, and Melanesian Pygmies

Andrea Bamberg Migliano, Irene Gallego Romero, Mait Metspalu, Matthew Leavesley, Luca Pagani, Tiago Antao, Da-Wei Huang, Brad T Sherman, Katharine Siddle, Clarissa Scholes, Georgi Hudjashov, Elton Kaitokai, Avis Babalu, Maggie Belatti, Alex Cagan, Bryony Hopkinshaw, Colin Shaw, Mari Nelis, Ene Metspalu, Reedik Maegi Show all



Human pygmy populations inhabit different regions of the world, from Africa to Melanesia. In Asia, short-statured populations are often referred to as "negritos." Their short stature has been interpreted as a consequence of thermoregulatory, nutritional, and/or locomotory adaptations to life in tropical forests. A more recent hypothesis proposes that their stature is the outcome of a life history trade-off in high-mortality environments, where early reproduction is favored and, consequently, early sexual maturation and early growth cessation have coevolved. Some serological evidence of deficiencies in the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor axis have been previously associated with pyg..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Estonian Basic Research grant

Awarded by Tartu University grant

Funding Acknowledgements

This project was funded by a Clare College fellowship, a Newnham Gibbs travel fellowship, and the Leverhulme Programme Grant/Hunter-Gatherers Resilience to A.B.M.; a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)/Environmental Factors in the Chronology of Human Evolution and Dispersal Programme (EFCHED) grant to M.M.L.; the E.U. European Regional Development Fund through the Centre of Excellence in Genomics and Estonian Basic Research grant SF0182474 to R.V.; and Tartu University grant PBGMR06901 to T.K.