Patterns of mtDNA diversity in northwestern North America

Ripan S. Malhi, Katherine E. Breece, Beth A.Schultz Shook, Frederika A. Kaestle, James C. Chatters, Steven Hackenberger, David Glenn Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups of 54 full-blooded modern and 64 ancient Native Americans from northwestern North America were determined. The control regions of 10 modern and 30 ancient individuals were sequenced and compared. Within the Northwest, the frequency distribution for haplogroup A is geographically structured, with haplogroup A decreasing with distance from the Pacific Coast. The haplogroup A distribution suggests that a prehistoric population intrusion from the subarctic and coastal region occurred on the Columbia Plateau in prehistoric times. Overall, the mtDNA pattern in the Northwest suggests significant amounts of gene flow among Northwest Coast, Columbia Plateau, and Great Basin populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-54
Number of pages22
JournalHuman biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Amerindians
  • Ancient DNA
  • Genetic diversity
  • Mitochondrial DNA
  • Native americans
  • Penutian
  • Salishan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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