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Evidence of restricted maternal gene flow of Purana (old) Population in the suburbs of Sigiriya, Sri Lanka


K. M. Chandimal ,

Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, LK
About K. M.
Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine
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S. G. Yasawrdene,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About S. G.
Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medical Sciences
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R. J. Illeperuma

Genetech, Colombo, LK
About R. J.
Molecular Forensics Unit
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Based on historical records suggesting that the ancestry of the Purana (old) population living in the suburbs of Sigiriya in Sri Lanka can be traced back to the times of the Sinhalese Kings of the 5th century A.D. (1,450 YBP) and studies reporting that the Purana are biometrically different from the rest of present Sri Lankans and other populations in the world, we investigate the maternally inherited Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of Purana population in the suburbs of Sigiriya to better understand genetic affinities of them to present day Sri Lankans.


Materials and Methods

Forty six Purana inhabitants belonging to Purana pedigrees were recruited in the study. Mitochondrial DNA was extracted, amplified and sequenced. Polymorphisms of mtDNA hypervariable segment I (HVS –I) between nucleotide positions 16,004 –16,411 were identified using CLUSTALX option of MEGAVA 4.0 sequence alignment software. In order to investigate genetic affinity of Purana population, Arlequin software version 3.11 and analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) were applied using reported similar genetic data of present Sri Lankans such as Sinhalese, Sri Lankan Tamils, Indian Tamils, Sri Lankan Moors and Vedda. Genetic relationships of Purana population with other Sri Lankans were further explored by phylogenetic analysis.


Results and Analysis

Genetic dissimilarity among groups was higher (2.81%) when populations were grouped into two as modern and Purana than grouping them according to their ethnic basis (0.00%). This indicates a restricted mtDNA flow between the two groups (Purana and rest of the Sri Lankans) that made Purana population was maternally isolated from the rest of Sri Lankans.



Detailed phylogenetic analysis of the study revealed that they are maternally more related to Sri Lankan Tamil than to any other present Sri Lankans.
How to Cite: Chandimal KM, Yasawrdene SG, Illeperuma RJ. Evidence of restricted maternal gene flow of Purana (old) Population in the suburbs of Sigiriya, Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Anatomy Journal. 2019;3(2):42–54. DOI:
Published on 30 Dec 2019.
Peer Reviewed


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