Amerindian mitochondrial DNA haplogroups predominate in the population of Argentina: towards a first nationwide forensic mitochondrial DNA sequence database
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The study presents South American mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) data from selected north (N = 98), central (N = 193) and south (N = 47) Argentinean populations. Sequence analysis of the complete mtDNA control region (CR, 16024–576) resulted in 288 unique haplotypes ignoring C-insertions around positions 16193, 309, and 573; the additional analysis of coding region single nucleotide polymorphisms enabled a fine classification of the described lineages. The Amerindian haplogroups were most frequent in the north and south representing more than 60% of the sequences. A slightly different situation was observed in central Argentina where the Amerindian haplogroups represented less than 50%, and the European contribution was more relevant. Particular clades of the Amerindian subhaplogroups turned out to be nearly region-specific. A minor contribution of African lineages was observed throughout the country. This comprehensive admixture of worldwide mtDNA lineages and the regional specificity of certain clades in the Argentinean population underscore the necessity of carefully selecting regional samples in order to develop a nationwide mtDNA database for forensic and anthropological purposes. The mtDNA sequencing and analysis were performed under EMPOP guidelines in order to attain high quality for the mtDNA database.
KeywordsmtDNA population data Native America Control region Coding region Forensics
The authors would like to thank Daniela Niederwieser and Theresa Harm for excellent technical assistance. The study was supported in part by the FWF Austrian Science Fund (TR397) to WP and AR and by the National Research Council of Argentina (CONICET) PIP 6114 Res. 438/05 and UBACyT B-035 grants to DC. DC and AS are members of the Carrera del Investigador Científico y Tecnologico and MCB received a doctoral fellowship from UBACyT.
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