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Tuesday 15 May 2007

Haplogroup K

Starting from specimens of the intestinal contents of the so-called Tyrolean Iceman or Otzi (5,350-5,100 years before present), it was possible by polymerase chain reaction to amplify fragments of the human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region that correspond to the sequence found in 1994 at the Munich and Oxford laboratories and which had been attributed to the original DNA of the mummy.

The mtDNA of the European population is currently divided into nine (H, T, U, V, W, X, I, J, and K) main groups (haplogroups). The K haplogroup, in particular, is composed of two (K1 and K2) subclusters.

The results demonstrate that the Iceman’s mtDNA belongs to the haplogroup K and the K1 subcluster, but it does not fit any of the three known branches (K1a, K1b, and K1c) into which the K1 subcluster is presently divided.


- Rollo F, Ermini L, Luciani S, Marota I, Olivieri C, Luiselli D. The resolved location of Otzi’s mtDNA within haplogroup K: A reply to Endicott et al.
Am J Phys Anthropol. 2007 Apr;132(4):591-3. PMID: 17243102

- Rollo F, Ermini L, Luciani S, Marota I, Olivieri C, Luiselli D. Fine characterization of the Iceman’s mtDNA haplogroup. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2006 Aug;130(4):557-64. PMID: 16425231

- Rollo F, Ubaldi M, Ermini L, Marota I. Related Articles, Links
Otzi’s last meals: DNA analysis of the intestinal content of the Neolithic glacier mummy from the Alps.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Oct 1;99(20):12594-9. Epub 2002 Sep 20.
PMID: 12244211 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

- Marota I, Rollo F. Molecular paleontology. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2002 Jan;59(1):97-111. PMID: 11846037

- Rollo F, Luciani S, Canapa A, Marota I. Analysis of bacterial DNA in skin and muscle of the Tyrolean iceman offers new insight into the mummification process. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2000 Feb;111(2):211-9. PMID: 10640948