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Characterization of mtDNA Haplogroups in 14 Mexican Indigenous Populations

In this descriptive study we investigated the genetic structure of 513 Mexican indigenous subjects grouped in 14 populations (Mixteca- Alta, Mixteca-Baja, Otomi, Purépecha, Tzeltal, Tarahumara, Huichol, Nahua- Atocpan, Nahua-Xochimilco, Nahua-Zitlala, Nahua-Chilacachapa, Nahua- Ixhuatlancillo, Nahua-Necoxtla, and Nahua-Coyolillo) based on mtDNA haplogroups. These communities are geographically and culturally isolated; parents and grandparents were born in the community. Our data show that 98.6% of the mtDNA was distributed in haplogroups A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2, D1, and D2. Haplotype X6 was present in the Tarahumara (1/53) and Huichol (3/15), and haplotype L was present in the Nahua-Coyolillo (3/38). The first two principal components accounted for 95.9% of the total variation in the sample. The mtDNA haplogroup frequencies in the Purépecha and Zitlala were intermediate to cluster 1 (Otomi, Nahua-Ixhuatlancillo, Nahua- Xochimilco, Mixteca-Baja, and Tzeltal) and cluster 2 (Nahua-Necoxtla, Nahua-Atocpan, and Nahua-Chilacachapa). The Huichol, Tarahumara, Mixteca-Alta, and Nahua-Coyolillo were separated from the rest of the populations. According to these findings, the distribution of mtDNA haplogroups found in Mexican indigenous groups is similar to other Amerindian haplogroups, except for the African haplogroup found in one population.