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Int J Legal Med. 2011 Nov;125(6):841-8. doi: 10.1007/s00414-010-0540-7. Epub 2010 Dec 24.

Forensic and genetic characterization of mtDNA from Pathans of Pakistan.

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Department of Forensic Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, 250 Seongsanno, Seodaemun-Gu, Seoul, South Korea.


Complete mitochondrial control region data were generated for 230 unrelated Pathans from North West Frontier Province and Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. To confirm data quality and to explore the genetic structure of Pathans, mitochondrial DNA haplogroup affiliation was determined by shared haplogroup-specific polymorphisms in the control region and by the analysis of diagnostic coding region single-nucleotide polymorphisms using a multiplex system for the assignment of eight haplogroups: M, N1'5, W, R, R0, T, J, and U. Sequence comparison revealed that 193 haplotypes were defined by 215 variable sites when major insertions were ignored at nucleotide positions 16193, 309, and 573. From a phylogenetic perspective, Pathans have a heterogeneous origin, displaying a high percentage of West Eurasian haplogroups followed by haplogroups native to South Asia and a small fraction from East Asian lineages. In population comparisons, this ethnic group differed significantly from several other ethnic groups from Pakistan and surrounding countries. These results suggest that frequency estimates for mtDNA haplotypes should be determined for endogamous ethnic groups individually instead of pooling data for these subpopulations into a single dataset for the Pakistani population. Data presented here may contribute to the accuracy of forensic mtDNA comparisons in the Pathans of Pakistan.

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