Am J Phys Anthropol. 2000 May;112(1):5-16.

Georgian and kurd mtDNA sequence analysis shows a lack of correlation between languages and female genetic lineages.

Comas D, Calafell F, Bendukidze N, Fananas L, Bertranpetit J.

Unitat de Biologia Evolutiva, Facultat de Ciencies de la Salut i de la Vida, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, 08003 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.

Mitochondrial DNA sequences from Georgians and Kurds were analyzed in order to test the possible correlation between female lineages and languages in these two neighboring West Eurasian groups. Mitochondrial sequence pools in both populations are very similar despite their different linguistic and prehistoric backgrounds. Both populations present mtDNA lineages that clearly belong to the European gene pool, as shown by 1) similar nucleotide and sequence diversities; 2) a large number of sequences shared with the rest of European samples; 3) nonsignificant genetic distances; and 4) classification of the present lineages into the major European mtDNA haplogroups already described. The outlier position of the populations from the Caucasus according to classical genetic markers is not recognized in the present Georgian mtDNA sequence pool. This result suggests that the differentiation of mtDNA sequences in West Eurasia and the outlier features of Caucasian populations should be attributed to different processes. Moreover, the putative linguistic relationship between Caucasian groups and the Basques, another outlier population within Europe for classical genetic markers, is not detected by the analysis of mtDNA sequences. Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.