The initial peopling of the Americas: A growing number of founding mitochondrial genomes from Beringia

Ugo A. Perego, Norman Angerhofer, Maria Pala, Anna Olivieri, Hovirag Lancioni, Baharak Hooshiar Kashani, Valeria Carossa, Jayne E. Ekins, Alberto Gómez-Carballa, Gabriela Huber, Bettina Zimmermann, Daniel Corach, Nora Babudri, Fausto Panara, Natalie M. Myres, Walther Parson, Ornella Semino, Antonio Salas, Scott R. Woodward, Alessandro AchilliAntonio Torroni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Citations (Scopus)


Pan-American mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroup C1 has been recently subdivided into three branches, two of which (C1b and C1c) are characterized by ages and geographical distributions that are indicative of an early arrival from Beringia with Paleo-Indians. In contrast, the estimated ages of C1d - the third subset of C1 - looked too young to fit the above scenario. To define the origin of this enigmatic C1 branch, we completely sequenced 63 C1d mitochondrial genomes from a wide range of geographically diverse, mixed, and indigenous American populations. The revised phylogeny not only brings the age of C1d within the range of that of its two sister clades, but reveals that there were two C1d founder genomes for Paleo-Indians. Thus, the recognized maternal founding lineages of Native Americans are at least 15, indicating that the overall number of Beringian or Asian founder mitochondrial genomes will probably increase extensively when all Native American haplogroups reach the same level of phylogenetic and genomic resolution as obtained here for C1d.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1174-1179
Number of pages6
JournalGenome Research
Issue number9
Early online date29 Jun 2010
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes


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