MITOCHONDRIAL DNA IN POPULATION STUDIES AND ARCHAEOGENETICS (Mitochondrialny DNA w badaniach populacyjnych i archeogenetyce)
The growing interest in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis is due to its inheritance manner, circular DNA stability, high copy number per cell and mutational rate. These features give possibility to study mtDNA isolated from modern humans as well as from ancient samples. What is more, analysis of mtDNA from present populations enables to conclude about their history. Mitochondrial DNA variation level indicates, if for example, demic expansion structured today genetic composition. Thanks to modern mtDNA analysis migrations direction and other demographic events can be dated back without problematic extraction and analysis of ancient DNA. Not only the existence of well defined, continental specific mtDNA clades was shown, but also group specific lineages were revealed. Molecular methods enabled discrimination between related mtDNAs and detailed phylogenetic tree of female lineages was drawn. Analysis of mtDNA supported a hypothesis about modern Homo sapiens origin in Africa, and led light on migratory routes in Asia, Europe and the Americas.
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