Mitochondrial DNA Sequences of the Famous Karl Wilhelm Naundorff (1785 ?- 1845)

Mitochondrial DNA Sequences of the Famous Karl Wilhelm Naundorff (1785 ?- 1845)

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Author(s): Gerard Lucotte, Christian Crépin, Thierry Thomasset, Michèle Paris

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492 1838 28-32 Volume 3 - Jul 2014


We have obtained mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences from Karl Wilhelm Naundorff’s hair, who pretended to be the son of King Louis XVI (1754-1793) and Queen Marie-Antoinette (1755-1793). Authenticity of the hair is established by optic and electronic microscopy. Sequences of hypervariable regions of the mitochondrial DNA (extracted from two different hairs) show five mutations : 16298C ; 72C, 152C, 195C and 263G ; the corresponding mtDNA haplogroup is the sub-haplogroup HVO. Consequently, Naundorff cannot be excluded to be considered as being Louis XVII on the basis of mtDNA sequence of his humerus (as affirmed in Jehaes et al., 1998). Comparisons of mtDNA sequences between mtDNA extracted from Naundorff’s hair reported here and those (Jehaes et al., 2001) of the living Anna of Roumania (of Habsburg descent) shows that both correspond to mtDNA haplogroups of the general HV cluster.


Mitochondrial DNA haplogroups, Karl Wilhelm Naundorff, mutations in the hypervariable regions


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