Abstract

Santander, located in the Andean region of Colombia, is one of the 32 departments of the country. Its population was shaped by intercontinental admixture between autochthonous native Americans, European settlers, and African slaves. To establish forensic databases of haplotype frequencies, the evaluation of population substructure is crucial to capture the genetic diversity in admixed populations. Total control region mitochondrial deoxyribonucleic acid haplotypes were determined for 204 individuals born in the seven provinces across the department. The maternal native heritage is highly preserved in Santander genetic background, with 90% of the haplotypes belonging to haplogroups inside A2, B4, C1, and D. Most native lineages are found broadly across the American continent, while some sub-branches are concentrated in Central America and north South America. Subtle European (6%) and African (4%) input was detected. In pairwise comparisons between provinces, relatively high FST values were found in some cases, although not statistically significant. Nonetheless, when provinces were grouped according to the principal component analysis results, significant differences were detected between groups. The database on mitochondrial deoxyribonucleic acid control region haplotype frequencies established here can be further used for populational and forensic purposes.

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