The aim of this study was to investigate family relationships among the inhabitants of Cajus Iulius Polybius’ house. In addition, the mtDNA haplogroup attribution of these individuals was considered.Some pictures from the house of Polybius.
Regarding the mtDNA haplogroups, individuals 3A, 3B, 2A, 2B, 2C, 3D most likely belong to haplogroup T2b (Malyarchuk & Derenko, 1999; Pike, 2006; Richards et al., 2000), which in modern Italians ranges between 4.4 and 4.7% (A. Torroni, personal communication). The polymorphisms in positions 16294 and 16304 detected in individuals 3A, 3B, 2A, 2B, 2C, 3D in haplogroup T2b are often associated with the polymorphism at nucleotide 16296 (Pike, 2006; Richards et al., 2000). The absence of this mutation in our individuals is probably due to the instability of this nucleotide in haplogroup T2b (Malyarchuk & Derenko, 1999; Richards et al., 2000; Pike, 2006).
Individual 1A, besides the polymorphism at position 16399 in HVS1, shows a sequence identical to rCRS at position 7028 hence we might assume that he most likely belongs to haplogroup H (Torroni et al., 1996). Individual 1B, showing polymorphisms at positions 16292 and 16298 and a sequence identical to rCRS at positions 73 and 4580, most likely belongs to haplogroup HV0 (Achilli et al., 2007; Pierron et al., 2008).
For individual 5,6A, who shows a polymorphism at positions 16391 and 73, and for 5,6B who shares the rCRS in HVS1 and at position 73, we can conclude that while individual 5,6A cannot be attributed to haplogroup H, individual 5,6B most likely can be (Torroni et al., 1996).
Annals of Human Genetics doi:10.1111/j.1469-1809.2009.00520.x
Ancient DNA and Family Relationships in a Pompeian House
Giovanni Di Bernardo et al.
Archaeological, anthropological and pathological data suggest that thirteen skeletons found in a house at the Pompeii archaeological site, dated to 79 A.D., belong to one family. To verify this and to identify the relationships between these individuals, we analyzed DNA extracted from bone specimens. Specifically, hypervariable segment 1 (HVS1) of the human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region was amplified in two overlapping polymerase chain reactions and the sequences were compared to the revised Cambridge Reference Sequence. As independent controls, other polymorphic sites in HVS1, HVS2 and in the coding region were analyzed. We also amplified some short tandem repeats of the thirteen specimens. This study revealed that six of the thirteen individuals are indeed closely related.