• forensic science;
  • forensic anthropology;
  • mitochondrial DNA;
  • MTCYB gene;
  • sequence polymorphism;
  • genetic distance;
  • phylogenetic tree

Abstract:  The cytochrome b gene (MTCYB) has been widely used in taxonomic research. In this study, the sequence polymorphism of the MTCYB gene was determined in 417 subjects of eight populations living in Taiwan (Taiwanese Han, indigenous Taiwanese, Tao, mainland Chinese, Filipino, Thai, Vietnamese, and Caucasian). Sequence variation from the revised Cambridge Reference Sequence and genetic distance between these populations were analyzed. There were 108 variable positions with a total of 99 haplotypes. Population-specific positions of MTCYB gene were noted in Tao and Caucasian populations. There were statistically significant differences of genetic distance between Taiwanese Han and Caucasian, between Taiwanese Han and Tao, and between Taiwanese Han and Filipino. A phylogenetic tree presents the genetic distances between these populations. In conclusion, there are sufficient sequence polymorphisms of the MTCYB gene in individuals of different populations, which may be used in the analyses of human ethnic groups in forensic casework.