Mitochondrial DNA sequence polymorphisms of five ethnic populations from northern China
To study the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) polymorphisms in a total of 232 individuals from five ethnic populations (Daur, n=45; Ewenki, n=47; Korean, n=48; Mongolian, n=48; Oroqen, n=44) in northern China, we analyzed the control region sequences and typed for a number of characteristic mutations in coding regions (especially the region 14576–16047), by direct sequencing or restriction-fragment-length-polymorphism (RFLP) analysis. With the exception of 14 individuals belonging to the European-specific haplogroups R2, H, J, and T, the mtDNAs considered could be assigned into the East Asian-specific haplogroups described recently. The polymorphisms in cytochrome b sequence were found to be very informative for defining or supporting the haplogroups status of East Asian mtDNAs in addition to the reported regions 10171–10659 and 14055–14590 in our previous study. The haplogroup distribution frequencies varied in the five ethnic populations, but in general they all harbored a large amount of north-prevalent haplogroups, such as D, G, C, and Z, and thus were in agreement with their ethnohistory of northern origin. The two populations (Ewenki and Oroqen) with small population census also show concordant features in their matrilineal genetic structures, with lower genetic diversities observed.