To study the mitochondrial gene pool structure in Yakuts, polymorphism of mtDNA hypervariable segment I (16,024–16,390) was analyzed in 191 people sampled from the indigenous population of the Sakha Republic. In total, 67 haplotypes of 14 haplogroups were detected. Most (91.6%) haplotypes belonged to haplogroups A, B, C, D, F, G, M*, and Y, which are specific for East Eurasian ethnic groups; 8.4% haplotypes represented Caucasian haplogroups H, HV1, J, T, U, and W. A high frequency of mtDNA types belonging to Asian supercluster M was peculiar for Yakuts: mtDNA types belonging to haplogroup C, D, or G and undifferentiated mtDNA types of haplogroup M (M*) accounted for 81% of all haplotypes. The highest diversity was observed for haplogroups C and D, which comprised respectively 22 (44%) and 18 (30%) haplotypes. Yakuts showed the lowest genetic diversity (H = 0.964) among all Turkic ethnic groups. Phylogenetic analysis testified to common genetic substrate of Yakuts, Mongols, and Central Asian (Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Uighur) populations. Yakuts proved to share 21 (55.5%) mtDNA haplotypes with the Central Asian ethnic groups and Mongols. Comparisons with modern Paleoasian populations (Chukcha, Itelmen, Koryaks) revealed three (8.9%) haplotypes common for Yakuts and Koryaks. The results of mtDNA analysis disagree with the hypothesis of an appreciable Paleoasian contribution to the modern Yakut gene pool.
mitochondrial DNA Yakut gene pool haplotypes median networks phylogenetic analysis