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Int J Legal Med. 2003 Aug;117(4):218-25. Epub 2003 Jul 5.

Sequence polymorphisms of the mitochondrial DNA control region and phylogenetic analysis of mtDNA lineages in the Japanese population.

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Department of Forensic Odontology, Tokyo Dental College, 1-2-2 Masago Mihama-ku, 261-0011, Chiba City, Japan.


Sequence polymorphisms of the hypervariable mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) regions HVI and HVII, and coding region polymorphisms were investigated in 211 unrelated individuals from the Japanese population. Sequence comparison of the HVI and HVII regions led to the identification of 169 mitochondrial haplotypes defined by 147 variable positions. Among them 145 types were observed in only 1 individual; the other 24 types were shared by 2 or more individuals. The gene diversity was estimated at 0.9961, and the probability of two randomly selected individuals from the population having identical mtDNA types was 0.86%. We also established phylogenetic haplogroups in the Japanese population based on the coding and control region polymorphisms and compared the haplotypes with those in other Japanese, Korean and Chinese populations. As a result, three new subhaplogroups, G4a, G4b, and N9b, and several haplotypes specific for the Japanese and Korean populations were identified. The present database can be used not only for personal identification but also as an aid for geographic or phenotype (race) estimation in forensic casework in Japan.

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