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Eur J Hum Genet. 2014 May;22(5):681-7. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2013.211. Epub 2013 Oct 9.

Genetic genealogy reveals true Y haplogroup of House of Bourbon contradicting recent identification of the presumed remains of two French Kings.

Author information

  • 11] Laboratory of Forensic Genetics and Molecular Archaeology, UZ Leuven, Leuven, Belgium [2] Forensic Biomedical Sciences, Department of Imaging and Pathology, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium [3] Laboratory of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Genomics, Department of Biology, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
  • 2Independent researcher, Versailles, France.
  • 3Independent researcher; Saint-Lary, France.
  • 4Laboratory of Forensic Genetics and Molecular Archaeology, UZ Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
  • 51] Laboratory of Forensic Genetics and Molecular Archaeology, UZ Leuven, Leuven, Belgium [2] Laboratory of Socioecology and Social Evolution, Department of Biology, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
  • 61] Laboratory of Forensic Genetics and Molecular Archaeology, UZ Leuven, Leuven, Belgium [2] Forensic Biomedical Sciences, Department of Imaging and Pathology, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

Abstract

Genetic analysis strongly increases the opportunity to identify skeletal remains or other biological samples from historical figures. However, validation of this identification is essential and should be done by DNA typing of living relatives. Based on the similarity of a limited set of Y-STRs, a blood sample and a head were recently identified as those belonging respectively to King Louis XVI and his paternal ancestor King Henry IV. Here, we collected DNA samples from three living males of the House of Bourbon to validate the since then controversial identification of these remains. The three living relatives revealed the Bourbon's Y-chromosomal variant on a high phylogenetic resolution for several members of the lineage between Henry IV and Louis XVI. This 'true' Bourbon's variant is different from the published Y-STR profiles of the blood as well as of the head. The earlier identifications of these samples can therefore not be validated. Moreover, matrilineal genealogical data revealed that the published mtDNA sequence of the head was also different from the one of a series of relatives. This therefore leads to the conclusion that the analyzed samples were not from the French kings. Our study once again demonstrated that in order to realize an accurate genetic identification of historical remains DNA typing of living persons, who are paternally or maternally related with the presumed donor of the samples, is required.

PMID:
24105374
PMCID:
PMC3992573
DOI:
10.1038/ejhg.2013.211
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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