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Proc Biol Sci. Aug 22, 1997; 264(1385): 1217–1224.
PMCID: PMC1688569

Mitochondrial DNA polymorphisms in Carib people of Belize.

Abstract

Analysis of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region polymorphisms in 28 Carib people of Belize, former British Honduras, revealed high levels of genetic admixture with West African populations. A previously characterized length mutation consisting of a deletion of nine base pairs in an intergenic mtDNA region was observed in two of the individuals. Phylogenetic analysis of mtDNA control region sequences associated with the mutation suggested that it arose independently in different geographical locations. Whereas in one individual the deletion reflects the Amerindian ancestry of the Caribs, in the second case it seems to be of African origin, as it occurred in conjunction with an mtDNA type found in sub-Saharan Africa. Our results agree with historical accounts on the origins of the Caribs of Belize.

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Selected References

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