Hungarian mtDNA population databases from Budapest and the Baranya county Roma
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To facilitate forensic mtDNA testing in Hungary, we have generated control region databases for two Hungarian populations: 211 individuals were sampled from the urban Budapest population and 208 individuals were sampled from a Romani (“gypsy”) population in Baranya county. Sequences were generated using a highly redundant approach to minimize potential database errors. The Budapest population had high sequence diversity with 180 lineages, 183 polymorphic positions, and a random match probability of 1%. In contrast, the Romani population exhibited low sequence diversity, with only 56 lineages, 109 segregating sites, and a random match probability of 8.8%. The mtDNA haplogroup compositions of the two populations were also distinct, with the large proportion of haplogroup M samples (35%) in the Roma the most obvious difference between the two populations. These factors highlight the importance of considering population structure when generating reference databases for forensic testing purposes. Comparisons between our Romani population sample and other published data indicate the need for heightened caution when sampling and using mtDNA databases of small endogamous populations. The Romani populations that we compared showed significant departures from genetic uniformity.
KeywordsmtDNA Baranya county Romani population
The authors wish to thank Hans-Jürgen Bandelt (University of Hamburg, Germany) for assistance with haplogroup assignment and Miklos Angyal (Forensic Science Unit, Baranya County Police Department, Hungary) for carefully collecting the Romani population samples. We would also like to thank Rebecca Just, Katharine Strouss, Kimberly Sturk, Toni Diegoli, Carla Paintner, and Ilona Lletmanyii (AFDIL), as well as Walther Parson and Anita Brandstätter (EMPOP, University of Innsbruck, Austria) for assistance with database confirmation, and James Ross (AFDIL) and Jon Norris (Future Technologies, Fairfax, VA) for bioinformatics assistance. We thank James C. Canik, Kevin S. Carroll, Brion C. Smith (AFDIL), and Sandor Füredi, Janos Woller, Sophia Lontai-Santora (IFS, Budapest, Hungary) for logistical, administrative, and moral support. The opinions and assertions contained herein are solely those of the authors and are not to be construed as official or as views of the US Department of Defense or the US Department of the Army.
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