(Received 20 October 1993; accepted 25 April 1994)
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A logistic regression model was developed to predict ethnic group from mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) types determined by hybridization with sequence-specific oligonucleotide (SSO) probes of the two hypervariable segments of the mtDNA control region. The model was developed with, and tested against, a previously reported data set of 525 individuals from five ethnic groups (African-American, Southeast Asian, Caucasian, Japanese, and Mexican) involving 23 probes at nine regions within the two hypervariable segments . The model correctly predicted the ethnic group of 65.3% of the overall sample; however, the success rate varied substantially among ethnic groups, with the most success obtained with Caucasians (81% correctly classified). A discriminant analysis yielded similar results. An example is given of using the model to predict the ethnic group of an SSO-type from a forensic case. Such models provide alternatives to traditional skeletal-based methods of predicting ethnicity, especially in cases where skeletal material is absent or incomplete.
Postdoctoral Associate, Population Research Institute, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania
Assistant Professor, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
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