Generating population data for the EMPOP database - an overview of the mtDNA sequencing and data evaluation processes considering 273 Austrian control region sequences as example

Forensic Sci Int. 2007 Mar 2;166(2-3):164-75. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2006.05.006. Epub 2006 Jul 7.


The European DNA profiling group (EDNAP) mtDNA population database (EMPOP) is an international collaborative project between DNA laboratories performing mtDNA analysis and the DNA laboratory of the Institute of Legal Medicine (GMI) in Innsbruck, Austria. The goal is to set up a directly accessible mtDNA population database, which can be used in routine forensic casework for frequency investigations. Here we describe a safe laboratory scheme involving electronical data handling and computer-aided data transfer, which help to minimize errors originating from potential sample mix-up, data misinterpretation and incorrect transcription. The procedure is demonstrated by example of an mtDNA control region population study on 273 unrelated individuals from Austria. Our population sample was compared with five other European populations via an analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA). The inclusion of regions outside HVS-I and HVS-II increased the amount of information on the haplogroup diagnostic sites in the control region. Most of the haplotypes in Austrians fell into haplogroups H, J, K, T, and U. The random match probability in Austrians was 1:125; the average number of nucleotide differences between individuals in the Austrian database was 9.32.

MeSH terms

  • Austria
  • DNA Fingerprinting
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Genetics, Population*
  • Haplotypes
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA*


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Mitochondrial