Investigation of the Mitochondrial Haplogroups M, BM, N, J, K and Their Frequencies in Five Regions in Iran

Document Type : Research Paper


1 National Institute for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, P.O. Box: 14155-6343, Tehran, Iran.

2 Institute of Health Science, Tehran University, Tehran, I.R. Iran


The frequencies of the Asian (M, BM) and European (N, J,K) mtDNA haplogroups in five major regions of Iran was investigated. Unexpectedly, the frequencies of the Asian haplogroups M and BM were low in Iran (2.34% for haplogroup M; 17.6% for haplogroup BM and 80.06% for haplogroup N). Almost identical frequencies for haplogroups J and K were found in the present study (10.81% and 10.14% for haplogroups J and K, respectively). On the other hand, the frequencies of haplogroups M and BM in Eastern regions were more than their frequencies in Western regions of the country. In contrast, the frequencies of haplogroups J and K
in Western regions were more than their frequencies in Eastern regions of Iran. As a result, this study gives evidence for similarity between Iranian population ethnic groups and people from Northwest Asia and Southeast Europe. Our data suggest that Iranian tribes probably played a remarkable role in the formation of these ethnic groups. It gives the indication that the haplogroup J may be older than 6000-10000 years,
and probably developed in Iran, and then expanded to different regions in Europe and Northwest Asia. On the other hand, it seems that the super-haplogroup M has developed after the inhabitants of Iran moved to Eastern Asia or this group migrated from Southern Iran/North of Arabian halve O to Pakistan and then to Asia.