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Haplogroup K (mtDNA): Map


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In human mitochondrial genetics, Haplogroup K is a human mitochondrial DNA haplogroup.


It is the most common subclade of haplogroup U8 and it has an estimated age in Europe of c. 12,000 years BP.


Haplogroup K that represents a sizeable fraction of the Western Eurasian genetic pool. In Europe, it is particularly common around the Alps and the British Islesmarker. It is found in lesser frequency in North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. Also, approximately 32% of the haplotypes of modern people with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry are in haplogroup K.



This phylogenetic tree of haplogroup K subclades is based on the paper by Mannis van Oven and Manfred Kayser Updated comprehensive phylogenetic tree of global human mitochondrial DNA variation and subsequent published research.

Popular Culture

In his popular book The Seven Daughters of Eve, Bryan Sykes named the originator of this mtDNA haplogroup Katrine.Analysis of the mtDNA of Ötzi the Iceman, the frozen mummy from 3300 BC found on the Austrianmarker-Italianmarker border, has shown that Ötzi belongs to the K1 subclade but that it cannot be categorized into any of the three modern branches of that subclade (K1a, K1b or K1c). The new subclade has preliminarly been named K1ö for Ötzi.

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. [250855]

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


  1. A. González et al. The mitochondrial lineage U8a reveals a Paleolithic settlement in the Basque country. BMC Genomics, 2006
  2. Richards et al., Tracing European Founder Lineages in the Near Eastern mtDNA Pool. AJHG, 2000.
  3. Luca Ermini et al. (30 October 2008), "Complete Mitochondrial Genome Sequence of the Tyrolean Iceman", Current Biology.[1]

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