International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 126, Issue 4, pp 573–579 | Cite as

Forensic and phylogeographic characterisation of mtDNA lineages from Somalia

  • Martin Mikkelsen
  • Liane Fendt
  • Alexander W. Röck
  • Bettina Zimmermann
  • Eszter Rockenbauer
  • Anders J. Hansen
  • Walther Parson
  • Niels Morling
Original Article


The African mitochondrial (mt) phylogeny is coarsely resolved but the majority of population data generated so far is limited to the analysis of the first hypervariable segment (HVS-1) of the control region (CR). Therefore, this study aimed on the investigation of the entire CR of 190 unrelated Somali individuals to enrich the severely underrepresented African mtDNA pool. The majority (60.5 %) of the haplotypes were of sub-Saharan origin with L0a1d, L2a1h and L3f being the most frequently observed haplogroups. This is in sharp contrast to previous data reported from the Y-chromosome, where only about 5 % of the observed haplogroups were of sub-Saharan provenance. We compared the genetic distances based on population pairwise F st values between 11 published East, Central and North African as well as western Asian populations and the Somali sequences and displayed them in a multi-dimensional scaling plot. Genetic proximity evidenced by clustering roughly reflected the relative geographic location of the populations. The sequences will be included in the EMPOP database ( under accession number EMP00397 upon publication (Parson and Dür Forensic Sci Int Genet 1:88–92, 2007).


Forensic genetics mtDNA Population data Somalia Control region EMPOP 



We would like to thank Trine L. Hansen and Nadia Jochumsen (Section of Forensic Genetics, Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen) for excellent technical support.

Supplementary material

414_2012_694_MOESM1_ESM.xls (70 kb)
Table S1 (XLS 69 kb)
414_2012_694_MOESM2_ESM.docx (18 kb)
Table S2 (DOCX 17 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Mikkelsen
    • 1
  • Liane Fendt
    • 2
  • Alexander W. Röck
    • 2
  • Bettina Zimmermann
    • 2
  • Eszter Rockenbauer
    • 1
  • Anders J. Hansen
    • 1
  • Walther Parson
    • 2
  • Niels Morling
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of Forensic Genetics, Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical SciencesUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.Institute of Legal MedicineInnsbruck Medical UniversityInnsbruckAustria

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