Article

Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 115-121

First online:

A genetic investigation of Korean mummies from the Joseon Dynasty

  • Na Young KimAffiliated withDepartment of Forensic Medicine and Brain Korea 21 Project for Medical Science, Yonsei University College of Medicine
  • , Hwan Young LeeAffiliated withDepartment of Forensic Medicine and Brain Korea 21 Project for Medical Science, Yonsei University College of MedicineHuman Identification Research Center, Yonsei University
  • , Myung Jin ParkAffiliated withDepartment of Forensic Medicine and Brain Korea 21 Project for Medical Science, Yonsei University College of Medicine
  • , Woo Ick YangAffiliated withDepartment of Forensic Medicine and Brain Korea 21 Project for Medical Science, Yonsei University College of Medicine
  • , Kyoung-Jin ShinAffiliated withDepartment of Forensic Medicine and Brain Korea 21 Project for Medical Science, Yonsei University College of MedicineHuman Identification Research Center, Yonsei University Email author 

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Abstract

Two Korean mummies (Danwoong-mirra and Yoon-mirra) found in medieval tombs in the central region of the Korean peninsula were genetically investigated by analysis of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), Y-chromosomal short tandem repeat (Y-STR) and the ABO gene. Danwoong-mirra is a male child mummy and Yoon-mirra is a pregnant female mummy, dating back about 550 and 450 years, respectively. DNA was extracted from soft tissues or bones. mtDNA, Y-STR and the ABO gene were amplified using a small size amplicon strategy and were analyzed according to the criteria of ancient DNA analysis to ensure that authentic DNA typing results were obtained from these ancient samples. Analysis of mtDNA hypervariable region sequence and coding region single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) information revealed that Danwoong-mirra and Yoon-mirra belong to the East Asian mtDNA haplogroups D4 and M7c, respectively. The Y-STRs were analyzed in the male child mummy (Danwoong-mirra) using the AmpFlSTR® YfilerTM PCR Amplification Kit and an in-house Y-miniplex plus system, and could be characterized in 4 loci with small amplicon size. The analysis of ABO gene SNPs using multiplex single base extension methods revealed that the ABO blood types of Danwoong-mirra and Yoon-mirra are AO01 and AB, respectively. The small size amplicon strategy and the authentication process in the present study will be effectively applicable to future genetic analyses of various forensic and ancient samples.

Keywords

Korean mummy Ancient DNA Authenticity Mitochondrial DNA Y-chromosomal short tandem repeat ABO blood type