The genetic legacy of the expansion of Bantu-speaking peoples in Africa - Université Lumière Lyon 2 Accéder directement au contenu
Article Dans Une Revue Nature Année : 2023

The genetic legacy of the expansion of Bantu-speaking peoples in Africa

Cesar A Fortes-Lima
Concetta Burgarella
  • Fonction : Auteur
Rickard Hammarén
Anders Eriksson
Mário Vicente
  • Fonction : Auteur
Cecile Jolly
  • Fonction : Auteur
Armando Semo
  • Fonction : Auteur
Hilde Gunnink
Sara Pacchiarotti
Leon Mundeke
  • Fonction : Auteur
Igor Matonda
  • Fonction : Auteur
Joseph Koni Muluwa
  • Fonction : Auteur
Peter Coutros
Terry S Nyambe
  • Fonction : Auteur
Justin Cirhuza Cikomola
Vinet Coetzee
  • Fonction : Auteur
Minique de Castro
  • Fonction : Auteur
Peter Ebbesen
  • Fonction : Auteur
Joris Delanghe
Mark Stoneking
  • Fonction : Auteur
Lawrence Barham
Marlize Lombard
Anja Meyer
Maryna Steyn
  • Fonction : Auteur
Helena Malmström
Jorge Rocha
Himla Soodyall
  • Fonction : Auteur
Brigitte Pakendorf
Koen Bostoen
Carina M Schlebusch


Abstract The expansion of people speaking Bantu languages is the most dramatic demographic event in Late Holocene Africa and fundamentally reshaped the linguistic, cultural and biological landscape of the continent 1–7 . With a comprehensive genomic dataset, including newly generated data of modern-day and ancient DNA from previously unsampled regions in Africa, we contribute insights into this expansion that started 6,000–4,000 years ago in western Africa. We genotyped 1,763 participants, including 1,526 Bantu speakers from 147 populations across 14 African countries, and generated whole-genome sequences from 12 Late Iron Age individuals 8 . We show that genetic diversity amongst Bantu-speaking populations declines with distance from western Africa, with current-day Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo as possible crossroads of interaction. Using spatially explicit methods 9 and correlating genetic, linguistic and geographical data, we provide cross-disciplinary support for a serial-founder migration model. We further show that Bantu speakers received significant gene flow from local groups in regions they expanded into. Our genetic dataset provides an exhaustive modern-day African comparative dataset for ancient DNA studies 10 and will be important to a wide range of disciplines from science and humanities, as well as to the medical sector studying human genetic variation and health in African and African-descendant populations.
Fichier principal
Vignette du fichier
Fortes-Lima_2023_Bantu_expansion_Nature.pdf (19.68 Mo) Télécharger le fichier
Origine : Fichiers éditeurs autorisés sur une archive ouverte

Dates et versions

hal-04317801 , version 1 (04-12-2023)


Paternité - Pas d'utilisation commerciale



Cesar A Fortes-Lima, Concetta Burgarella, Rickard Hammarén, Anders Eriksson, Mário Vicente, et al.. The genetic legacy of the expansion of Bantu-speaking peoples in Africa. Nature, 2023, ⟨10.1038/s41586-023-06770-6⟩. ⟨hal-04317801⟩
15 Consultations
8 Téléchargements



Gmail Facebook X LinkedIn More