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Sci Rep. 2015 Nov 12;5:16462. doi: 10.1038/srep16462.

The complete mitogenome of a 500-year-old Inca child mummy.

Author information

1
Unidade de Xenética, Departamento de Anatomía Patolóxica e Ciencias Forenses, and Instituto de Ciencias Forenses, Grupo de Medicina Xenómica (GMX), Facultade de Medicina, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, 15872, Galicia, Spain.
2
Grupo de Investigación en Genética, Vacunas, Infecciones y Pediatría (GENVIP), Hospital Clínico Universitario and Universidade de Santiago de Compostela (USC), Galicia, Spain.
3
Equipo Argentino de Antropología Forense, Independencia 644-3A, Edif. EME1, Córdoba, Argentina.
4
Translational Pediatrics and Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, Hospital Clínico Universitario de Santiago, Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain.
5
Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences, Department of Forensic Genetics, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany.

Abstract

In 1985, a frozen mummy was found in Cerro Aconcagua (Argentina). Archaeological studies identified the mummy as a seven-year-old Inca sacrifice victim who lived >500 years ago, at the time of the expansion of the Inca Empire towards the southern cone. The sequence of its entire mitogenome was obtained. After querying a large worldwide database of mitogenomes (>28,000) we found that the Inca haplotype belonged to a branch of haplogroup C1b (C1bi) that has not yet been identified in modern Native Americans. The expansion of C1b into the Americas, as estimated using 203 C1b mitogenomes, dates to the initial Paleoindian settlements (~18.3 thousand years ago [kya]); however, its internal variation differs between Mesoamerica and South America. By querying large databases of control region haplotypes (>150,000), we found only a few C1bi members in Peru and Bolivia (e.g. Aymaras), including one haplotype retrieved from ancient DNA of an individual belonging to the Wari Empire (Peruvian Andes). Overall, the results suggest that the profile of the mummy represents a very rare sub-clade that arose 14.3 (5-23.6) kya and could have been more frequent in the past. A Peruvian Inca origin for present-day C1bi haplotypes would satisfy both the genetic and paleo-anthropological findings.

PMID:
26561991
PMCID:
PMC4642457
DOI:
10.1038/srep16462
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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