Mitochondrial DNA portrait of Latvians: towards the understanding of the genetic structure of Baltic-speaking populations

Ann Hum Genet. 2006 Jul;70(Pt 4):439-58. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-1809.2005.00238.x.


Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation was investigated in a sample of 299 Latvians, a Baltic-speaking population from Eastern Europe. Sequencing of the first hypervariable segment (HVS-I) in combination with analysis of informative coding region markers revealed that the vast majority of observed mtDNAs belong to haplogroups (hgs) common to most European populations. Analysis of the spatial distribution of mtDNA haplotypes found in Latvians, as well as in Baltic-speaking populations in general, revealed that they share haplotypes with all neighbouring populations irrespective of their linguistic affiliation. Hence, the results of our mtDNA analysis show that the previously described sharp difference between the Y-chromosomal hg N3 distribution in the paternally inherited gene pool of Baltic-speaking populations and of other European Indo-European speakers does not have a corresponding maternal counterpart.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Baltic States
  • Chromosomes, Human, Y / genetics
  • Complementarity Determining Regions / genetics
  • DNA, Mitochondrial*
  • Female
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genetics, Population
  • Haplotypes
  • Humans
  • Language*
  • Latvia
  • Male
  • Open Reading Frames / genetics
  • Phylogeny*
  • White People / genetics*


  • Complementarity Determining Regions
  • DNA, Mitochondrial