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Haplogroup K (mtDNA)

Haplogroup K
Time of origin 50000 years before present
Place of origin Western Asia
Ancestral haplogroup U
Defining mutations 73, 7028, 11719, 12308, 14766, 16224, 16311


Haplogroup K is a group of people who descend from a woman in the Haplogroup R (mtDNA) branch of the genographic tree. Because of the genetic diversity in haplogroup K she most likely lived around 50,000 years ago. Her descendants gave birth to several different subgroups, some of which exhibit very specific geographic homelands. The old age has led to a wide distribution of the descendant subgroups that harbor specific European, northern African, Indian, Arab, northern Caucasus Mountains and the Near East. While some members of the group headed north to Scandinavia or South to North Africa, most women in this group crossed the Caucasus Mountains in southern Russia and moved on to the steppes of the Black Sea. The Haplogroup K is currently shared by over 3,000,000 people.[1]

Approximately 32% of the haplotypes of modern people with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry are in haplogroup K.

In his popular book The Seven Daughters of Eve, Bryan Sykes named the originator of this mtDNA haplogroup Katrine.

Famous members

See also: List of genetic results derived from historical figures

Analysis of the mtDNA of Ötzi the Iceman, the frozen mummy from 3300 BC found on the Austrian-Italian border, has shown that Ötzi belongs to the K1 subcluster of the mitochondrial haplogroup K, but that it cannot be categorized into any of the three modern branches of that subcluster.

On an 18 November 2005 broadcast of the Today Show, during an interview with Dr. Spencer Wells of The National Geographic Genographic Project, host Katie Couric was revealed to belong to haplogroup K. [1]

On 14 August 2007, Stephen Colbert was told by Dr. Spencer Wells that he is a member of this haplogroup.


  1. ^ The Genographic Project at National Geographic

See also

  • Human mitochondrial genetics

Human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups

  most recent common mt-ancestor    
L0   L1  
L2 L3   L4 L5 L6 L7
  M N  
CZ D E G Q   A I O   R   S W X Y
C Z B F pre-HV   pre-JT P  UK
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Haplogroup_K_(mtDNA)". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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