Research Article| Volume 15, P27-32, March 2015

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Portuguese mitochondrial DNA genetic diversity—An update and a phylogenetic revision

Published:October 14, 2014DOI:


      In recent years a large amount of mitochondrial population data for forensic purposes has been produced. Current efforts are focused at increasing the number of studied populations while generating updated genetic information of forensic quality. However, complete mitochondrial control region sequences are still scarce for most populations and even more so for complete mitochondrial genomes. In the case of Portugal, previous population genetics studies have already revealed the general portrait of HVS-I and HVS-II mitochondrial diversity, becoming now important to update and expand the mitochondrial region analysed. Accordingly, a total of 292 complete control region sequences from continental Portugal were obtained, under a stringent experimental design to ensure the quality of data through double sequencing of each target region. Furthermore, H-specific coding region SNPs were examined to detail haplogroup classification and complete mitogenomes were obtained for all sequences belonging to haplogroups U4 and U5. In general, a typical Western European haplogroup composition was found in mainland Portugal, associated to high level of mitochondrial genetic diversity. Within the country, no signs of substructure were detected. The typing of extra coding region SNPs has provided the refinement or confirmation of the previous classification obtained with EMMA tool in 96% of the cases. Finally, it was also possible to enlarge haplogroup U phylogeny with 28 new U4 and U5 mitogenomes.


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