The prevalence of a 9-base-pair (bp) deletion between the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase II (MTCOX*2) and lysine tRNA (MTTK) genes (region V) has been used to estimate the genetic relationships among Asian and Pacific populations. Many East Asian and Pacific Island populations have been examined previously, but the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) diversity of the intervening Indonesian archipelago has not previously been systematically examined. The 17,500 islands of Indonesia currently contain nearly 213 million people and extensive cultural, linguistic, and, presumably, genetic diversity. This study of 1091 individuals representing 15 ethnic groups is the most extensive mtDNA survey to date of the Indonesian archipelago. Six distinct length polymorphisms in region V were observed within these 15 populations. The 9-bp deletion was found in every population examined at frequencies comparable to those of previously examined East Asian populations and substantially lower than those in most Pacific Island populations. Despite the inclusion of Austronesian-speaking populations and a Papuan-speaking population, there was no statistically significant heterogeneity in the frequency of the 9-bp deletion among the 15 populations (p = 0.09). These data indicate that substantial gene flow occurred among the populations at some time in the past. Our observations of no significant correlations between genetic and geographic distances (r = –0.04, p = 0.53) coupled with the extensive cultural and linguistic differences currently within the archipelago suggest that little gene flow among neighboring populations has occurred recently.
Handoko, Herlina Y.; Lum, J. Koji; Gustiani; Rismalia; Kartapradja, Hannie; Sofro, Abdul Salam M.; and Marzuki, Sangkot
"Length Variations in the COII–tRNALys Intergenic Region of
Mitochondrial DNA in Indonesian Populations,"
2, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol73/iss2/4