In two population samples of 77 Bamileke (Bantu sensu lato) and 18 Bakaka (Bantu sensu stricto) from southwestern Cameroon, the mtDNA RFLPs for the Hpal, Haell, Mspl, AvaIl, and Hincll enzymes were studied. Two of the Mspl morphs had not been reported before. Six new types were found, four of which represent new combinations of previously described morphs. The AvaIl morph 3 was found in association with the “African” Hpal morph 3. This finding is in line with previous observations in Negroids and demonstrates the usefulness of this combination as an indicator of black African ancestry. Two differences were noted between the groups: a lower frequency of Hpal morph 3 and a higher frequency of Haell morph 4 in the Bakaka with respect to the Bamileke (0.44 versus 0.62 and 0.17 versus 0.03, respectively). The importance of these differences could not be evaluated because the Bakaka sample was too small. Nevertheless, because the Bamileke show a relatively low frequency of mtDNA type 1 (220.127.116.11.1.-) and high frequencies of mtDNA types 2 (18.104.22.168.3.-) and 7 (22.214.171.124.1.-), they can be placed with the other Negroids so far examined, but they are closer to the Senegalese than to the Bantu from South Africa. In comparing the Bamileke and the Bantu, mtDNA type 3 (126.96.36.199.2.-) appears particularly discriminative because it is present in all the Bantu subgroups examined but not in the Bamileke. mtDNA type 39 (188.8.131.52.1.-), which was observed only in the Bamileke, might be considered likewise discriminative, although to a lesser degree.
Scozzari, R., Torroni, A., Semino, O., Cruciani, F., Spedini, G., & Benerecetti, S. A. S. (1994). Genetic studies in Cameroon: Mitochondrial DNA polymorphisms in Bamileke. Human Biology, 66(1), 1-12.