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The Mitochondrial DNA Landscape of Modern Mexico

Institute of Legal Medicine, Medical University of Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Dipartimento di Biologia e Biotecnologie “L. Spallanzani”, Università di Pavia, 27100 Pavia, Italy
Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation, Salt Lake City, UT 84115, USA
Department of Math and Science, Southeastern Community College, Burlington, IA 52655, USA
FamilySearch Int., Salt Lake City, UT 84150, USA
Facultad de Enfermería, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Monterrey 64460, Mexico
Forensic Science Program, Penn State University, University Park, State College, PA 16802, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally.
Academic Editor: Wolfram S. Kunz
Genes 2021, 12(9), 1453;
Received: 27 August 2021 / Revised: 15 September 2021 / Accepted: 16 September 2021 / Published: 21 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Peopling of the Americas: A Genetic Perspective)
Mexico is a rich source for anthropological and population genetic studies with high diversity in ethnic and linguistic groups. The country witnessed the rise and fall of major civilizations, including the Maya and Aztec, but resulting from European colonization, the population landscape has dramatically changed. Today, the majority of Mexicans do not identify themselves as Indigenous but as admixed, and appear to have very little in common with their pre-Columbian predecessors. However, when the maternally inherited mitochondrial (mt)DNA is investigated in the modern Mexican population, this is not the case. Control region sequences of 2021 samples deriving from all over the country revealed an overwhelming Indigenous American legacy, with almost 90% of mtDNAs belonging to the four major pan-American haplogroups A2, B2, C1, and D1. This finding supports a very low European contribution to the Mexican gene pool by female colonizers and confirms the effectiveness of employing uniparental markers as a tool to reconstruct a country’s history. In addition, the distinct frequency and dispersal patterns of Indigenous American and West Eurasian clades highlight the benefit such large and country-wide databases provide for studying the impact of colonialism from a female perspective and population stratification. The importance of geographical database subsets not only for forensic application is clearly demonstrated. View Full-Text
Keywords: forensic science; haplogroups; phylogeny; phylogeography; MtDNA database; quality control; EMPOP forensic science; haplogroups; phylogeny; phylogeography; MtDNA database; quality control; EMPOP
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bodner, M.; Perego, U.A.; Gomez, J.E.; Cerda-Flores, R.M.; Rambaldi Migliore, N.; Woodward, S.R.; Parson, W.; Achilli, A. The Mitochondrial DNA Landscape of Modern Mexico. Genes 2021, 12, 1453.

AMA Style

Bodner M, Perego UA, Gomez JE, Cerda-Flores RM, Rambaldi Migliore N, Woodward SR, Parson W, Achilli A. The Mitochondrial DNA Landscape of Modern Mexico. Genes. 2021; 12(9):1453.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bodner, Martin, Ugo A. Perego, J. E. Gomez, Ricardo M. Cerda-Flores, Nicola Rambaldi Migliore, Scott R. Woodward, Walther Parson, and Alessandro Achilli. 2021. "The Mitochondrial DNA Landscape of Modern Mexico" Genes 12, no. 9: 1453.

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