Genetic analysis of 7 medieval skeletons from the Aragonese Pyrenees

Carolina Núnez, Cecilia Sosa, Miriam Baeta, Maria Geppert, Meredith Turnbough, Nicole Phillips, Yolanda Casalod, Miguel Bolea, Rhonda Roby, Bruce Budowle, Begońa Martínez-Jarreta

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Aim: To perform a genetic characterization of 7 skeletons from medieval age found in a burial site in the Aragonese Pyrenees. Methods: Allele frequencies of autosomal short tandem repeats (STR) loci were determined by 3 different STR systems. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y-chromosome haplogroups were determined by sequencing of the hypervariable segment 1 of mtDNA and typing of phylogenetic Y chromosome single nucleotide polymorphisms (YSNP) markers, respectively. Possible familial relationships were also investigated. Results: Complete or partial STR profiles were obtained in 3 of the 7 samples. Mitochondrial DNA haplogroup was determined in 6 samples, with 5 of them corresponding to the haplogroup H and 1 to the haplogroup U5a. Ychromosome haplogroup was determined in 2 samples, corresponding to the haplogroup R. In one of them, the sub-branch R1b1b2 was determined. mtDNA sequences indicated that some of the individuals could be maternally related, while STR profiles indicated no direct family relationships. Conclusions: Despite the antiquity of the samples and great difficulty that genetic analyses entail, the combined use of autosomal STR markers, Y-chromosome informative SNPs, and mtDNA sequences allowed us to genotype a group of skeletons from the medieval age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-343
Number of pages8
JournalCroatian Medical Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2011


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