Date of Award

Spring 5-2013

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Criminal Justice


Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Security

Committee Chair

Kuppareddi Balamurugan

Committee Chair Department

Criminal Justice

Committee Member 2

Thomas S. Pittman

Committee Member 2 Department

Criminal Justice

Committee Member 3

Dean Bertram

Committee Member 3 Department

Criminal Justice


India is characterized by a human migration history spanning more than 60,000 years. Contemporary populations evolved from early migrations shortly following the African exodus but also recent movements possibly related to the spread of agriculture or t?e Indo-Aryan invasion. India has been underrepresented in mitochondrial surveys of human variation. The aim of this study was to establish a mtDNA dataset for the state of Tamil Nadu, India for forensic purposes and to investigate the diversity of the Tamil Nadu population sample with respect to global populations. The hypervariable regions I, II, and III within the mtDNA control region of a population sample comprising 60 individuals residing in Tamil Nadu, India were sequenced. A total of 57 haplotypes were observed of which 55 were unique. The Tamil Nadu population sample was characterized by high genetic diversity (0.9977), low random match probability (1.90%), and moderate average number of pairwise differences (1 0.81±4.99). For phylogenetic considerations, the Tamil Nadu haplotypes were compared to those of 29 global and national populations comprising a total of 3,822 HVR I, II, and III haplotypes. Phylogenetic examination was conducted using Nei's genetic distance for MultiDimensional Scaling (MDS) and Neighbor Joining (NJ) tree analysis. Extensive genetic admixture was detected between the Tamil Nadu lineages and several adjacent central Asian and Oceanic lineages diminishing with geographical distance. The Tamil Nadu lineages were also highly differentiated from tribal populations in India. These results have implications for forensic applications and studies in human evolution.