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Acta Biológica Colombiana

Print version ISSN 0120-548X


CASAS-VARGAS, Andrea; ROMERO, Liza Maria; RODRIGUEZ, José Vicente  and  USAQUEN, William. Mitochondrial DNA Analysis of a Sample of Pre-Columbian Acient Remains from Norte de Santander, Colombia (Chitarera Cultural Area). Acta biol.Colomb. [online]. 2018, vol.23, n.3, pp.263-273. ISSN 0120-548X.

In the last few years there has been an increase in ancient DNA (aDNA) analyses that has allowed shedding light on the diversity of pre-Columbian populations. In Colombia, there are few archaeological records belonging to the prehispanic population from Norte de Santander inhabited in the XVI century by the Chitarero. For this reason, we performed a genetic diversity analysis of the HVRI region of mtDNA in order to determine their possible relationships with other communities both ancient and contemporary. We analyzed seven pre-Columbian individuals belonging to this pre-Hispanic group, recovered from the municipalities of Cácota and Silos in the department of Norte de Santander located at the Colombian Andes, following strict authenticity criteria for aDNA. All individuals were identified as belonging to haplogroup B, characterized by the polymorphism found at position 16217C which is one of the most frequent haplogroups in pre-Columbian and contemporary communities of the South American Andes. This finding suggests that this population group was closely related through its maternal lineage, with possible inbreeding indexes, low population density and therefore low genetic diversity, similar to what is observed in communities belonging to previous periods such as the Formative period. This pre-Columbian group exhibits one of the lowest genetic diversities reported in populations belonging to the Chibcha linguistic family. These genetic results coincide with the views on the Chitarero group as belonging to small independent communities, with dispersed settlements separated among them.

Keywords : ancient DNA; Andes; Chitareros; Colombia; HVRI; mtDNA.

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