European Journal of Human Genetics
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September 2001, Volume 9, Number 9, Pages 717-723
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The evidence of mtDNA haplogroup F in a European population and its ethnohistoric implications
Helle-Viivi Tolk1, Lovorka Barac2, Marijana Pericic2, Irena Martinovic Klaric2, Branka Janicijevic2, Harry Campbell3, Igor Rudan3,4, Toomas Kivisild1, Richard Villems1 and Pavao Rudan2

1Department of Evolutionary Biology, Institute for Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Tartu, Riia 23, 51010 Tartu, Estonia

2Institute for Anthropological Research, Amruseva 8, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

3Department of Public Health Sciences, The University of Edinburgh Medical School, Teviot Place, Edinburgh EH8 9AG, Scotland, UK

4School of Public Health "Andrija Stampar", University Medical School, Rockefellerova 4, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

Correspondence to: Pavao Rudan, Director, Institute for Anthropological Research, Amruseva 8, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia. Tel: ++385 1 4816 903; Fax: ++385 1 4813 777; E-mail:


Mitochondrial DNA polymorphism was analysed in a sample of 108 Croatians from the Adriatic Island isolate of Hvar. Besides typically European varieties of human maternal lineages, haplogroup F was found in a considerable frequency (8.3%). This haplogroup is most frequent in southeast Asia but has not been reported before in Europe. The genealogical analysis of haplogroup F cases from Hvar suggested founder effect. Subsequent field work was undertaken to sample and analyse 336 persons from three neighbouring islands (Brac, Korcula and Krk) and 379 more persons from all Croatian mainland counties and to determine if haplogroup F is present in the general population. Only one more case was found in one of the mainland cities, with no known ancestors from Hvar Island. The first published phylogenetic analysis of haplogroup F worldwide is presented, applying the median network method, suggesting several scenarios how this maternal lineage may have been added to the Croatian mtDNA pool. European Journal of Human Genetics (2001) 9, 717-723.


mtDNA; haplogroup F; Europeans; Croatians; isolate populations; phylogenetic analysis

Received 24 April 2001; revised 28 June 2001; accepted 29 June 2001
September 2001, Volume 9, Number 9, Pages 717-723
Table of contents    Previous  Abstract  Next   Article  PDF