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The mitochondrial DNA makeup of Romanians: A forensic mtDNA control region database and phylogenetic characterization

      Highlights

      • A high-quality mtDNA control region dataset from 407 Romanian samples were generated.
      • The Romanian gene pool is mainly composed of West Eurasian lineages.
      • The variations show a high molecular diversity and low random match probability.
      • This dataset provides a useful forensic database in routine forensic mtDNA analysis.

      Abstract

      To evaluate the pattern of Romanian population from a mitochondrial perspective and to establish an appropriate mtDNA forensic database, we generated a high-quality mtDNA control region dataset from 407 Romanian subjects belonging to four major historical regions: Moldavia, Transylvania, Wallachia and Dobruja. The entire control region (CR) was analyzed by Sanger-type sequencing assays and the resulting 306 different haplotypes were classified into haplogroups according to the most updated mtDNA phylogeny. The Romanian gene pool is mainly composed of West Eurasian lineages H (31.7%), U (12.8%), J (10.8%), R (10.1%), T (9.1%), N (8.1%), HV (5.4%),K (3.7%), HV0 (4.2%), with exceptions of East Asian haplogroup M (3.4%) and African haplogroup L (0.7%).
      The pattern of mtDNA variation observed in this study indicates that the mitochondrial DNA pool is geographically homogeneous across Romania and that the haplogroup composition reveals signals of admixture of populations of different origin. The PCA scatterplot supported this scenario, with Romania located in southeastern Europe area, close to Bulgaria and Hungary, and as a borderland with respect to east Mediterranean and other eastern European countries.
      High haplotype diversity (0.993) and nucleotide diversity indices (0.00838 ± 0.00426), together with low random match probability (0.0087) suggest the usefulness of this control region dataset as a forensic database in routine forensic mtDNA analysis and in the investigation of maternal genetic lineages in the Romanian population.

      Keywords

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