"Daughters of Eve"
SM Carr et al. 2011. Genome, 54,110-119.; SM
Carr et al. 2008
Comp Biochem Physiol D
Genomics & Proteomics, 3,1-11)
The island of Newfoundland
was originally the oldest of England's overseas colonies,
and was colonized in the 17~18th centuries by small numbers of
families, primarily from the West Country of England and
southeastern Ireland, with a smaller minority from France.
Until the last several generations, settlement occurred mainly
in many small coastal communities ("Outports").
isolation and religious segregation of (mainly Catholic) Irish
and (mainly Protestant) English families limited genetic
exchange among these settlements. The phenomenon of "Inbreeding in Outports"
(The Muse, March 01, 2007) and accompanying genetic
drift in small populations has led to expectations of loss of
genetic diversity within the Newfoundland population.
Analysis of complete mitochondrial DNA
(mtDNA) genomes from matrilineal
descendants of these founders shows instead high levels
of genetic diversity, including descendants of five of the
of Eve." These are major 'haplogroups' identified by DNA sequencing of the
major hypervariable regions in the mtDNA molecule.
In our study, every individual sequenced has a unique mtDNA sequence. The
majority of individuals occur in the most common western
European Haplogroup "H", but distinct lineages of English,
Irish, and French Newfoundlanders occur within four of the
haplogroups ("J" &"T",
& "K", respectively). Descendants of the other two,
rarer European daughters "X"
&"V" have not yet
been found in Newfoundland. Another Newfoundlander of French
descendant occurs in the genetically distinct Haplogroup "A",
which is found in First Nations groups but is
otherwise unknown in persons of European descent. This
individual appears to be the maternal descendant of a Mi'kmaq mother and a
French father. The extinct Beothuk
Newfoundland are known to include two North American lineages,
C and X.