International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 121, Issue 5, pp 377–383 | Cite as

Hungarian mtDNA population databases from Budapest and the Baranya county Roma

  • Jodi IrwinEmail author
  • Balazs Egyed
  • Jessica Saunier
  • Gabriella Szamosi
  • Jennifer O’Callaghan
  • Zsolt Padar
  • Thomas J. Parsons
Original Article


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.


mtDNA 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.

Supplementary material

414_2006_128_MOESM1_ESM.doc (36 kb)
Table 1 Entire control region sequences from 205 Baranya county Roma, listed as differences from the rCRS. Frequency of occurrence of each haplotypes is listed, as well as inferred haplogroup attribution, where known (DOC 36 kb).
414_2006_128_MOESM2_ESM.doc (61 kb)
Table 2 Entire control region sequences from 211 Budapest Hungarians, listed as differences from the rCRS. Frequency of occurrence of each haplotypes is listed, as well as inferred haplogroup attribution, where known (DOC 58 kb).
414_2006_128_MOESM3_ESM.doc (24 kb)
Table 3 Number of observations and, in parentheses, frequencies of each population’s (rows) most common mtDNA haplotype in all other Roma populations (columns). Frequency was calculated as n+1/N+1. Populations from Monteni and Turgovzi share the same most common haplotype, as do populations from Hungary and Kaldjii North. Population-specific haplotype frequencies that are statistically different from the pooled population frequency are denoted by asterisks (*p value < 0.05, **p value < 0.01). Data for the non-Hungarian Roma were taken from Gresham et al. [7] (DOC 24 kb).
414_2006_128_Fig1_ESM.gif (21 kb)
Fig. 1

Mismatch distribution among 211 urban Budapest control region sequences

414_2006_128_Fig2_ESM.gif (18 kb)
Fig. 2

Mismatch distribution among 205 Baranya County Roma control region sequences(GIF 21 kb)

414_2006_128_Fig3_ESM.gif (59 kb)
Fig. 3

Comparative haplogroup representation of the Roma and Budapest samples(GIF 60 kb)

414_2006_128_Fig4_ESM.gif (53 kb)
Fig. 4

Comparison of Budapest haplogroup representation to “Caucasian” samples in the SWGDAM database(GIF 54 kb)

414_2006_128_Fig5_ESM.gif (41 kb)
Fig. 5

Comparison of Baranya County Roma haplogroup representation to Roma samples reported in Gresham et al. [7](GIF 41 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jodi Irwin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Balazs Egyed
    • 2
  • Jessica Saunier
    • 1
  • Gabriella Szamosi
    • 2
  • Jennifer O’Callaghan
    • 1
  • Zsolt Padar
    • 2
  • Thomas J. Parsons
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Armed Forces DNA Identification LaboratoryArmed Forces Institute of Pathology Building 101RockvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of HaemoGeneticsInstitute for Forensic SciencesBudapest POB. 314/4Hungary
  3. 3.International Commission on Missing PersonsSarajevoBosnia and Herzogovina

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