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About us

Welcome to the Haplogroup B Project

This page groups Y-DNA profiles from men who have been assigned to haplogroup B, but we welcome the support of members of other haplogroups who have an interest in furthering our knowledge of the human Y Chromosome Tree.

Exciting News:
A new major subclade, B3!

Thanks to one of our members, a descendant of George Mingo of the Bahamas, who volunteered to be the first haplogroup B member to participate in the Walk Through the Y program, we have been able to discover a completely new branch of haplogroup B!  It will be called B3. 

We urge the many project members whose Y-DNA has not yet been classified, to order one or more of these SNPs and find out whether you will turn out to be a fellow member of B3.

The Mingo Y-DNA was found to have the new SNPs, L1387, L1388, L1389, L1390, L1391, L1392, L1393, L1394, L1395, L1396, and L1397.  Of these, L1387, L1388, L1389, L1390 and L1394 have been developed by Thomas Krahn and are now available for ordering!  

Thomas has also tested a sample belonging to the rare subclade B1, and confirmed that it's negative for L1387, L1388, L1389, and L1394.  The Mingo sample was found to be negative for all the other known SNPs that define the other subclades of B, excluding this lineage from B1 or B2, so that it must be placed in the new, independent branch, B3.

Of course, it is new only in terms of the date of its discovery.  Its age is very ancient, like all the major branches that diverge at basal levels of the human phylogenetic tree.

Although we are confident of its placement on the tree, we would like at least one member of B2 to order some of these SNPs, to confirm that they are negative in that subclade.

More exciting discoveries are sure to be coming before long, as our second WTY is in the pipeline.  Kit N54025, a Holmes lineage, has been accepted into that program and will be sequenced in turn, probably sometime in the next couple of months.

Meanwhile, co-admin Bonnie Schrack has been analyzing the data from seven members of haplogroup B that had complete Y chromosome sequences done as part of international scientists' collaborative 1000 Genomes Project. Three of them are members of B2a1, and one is a B2b.  The other three were until now unclassified.

The remarkable news that has come out of this is that these three of the 1000 Genomes Project samples are positive for our new SNPs, L1388, L1389, L1390, L1391, L1392, L1393, L1394 and L1396, and L1397!  That is, all of the SNPs discovered in Mingo, except L1387 and L1395, which could be specific to his lineage.  These samples are from Gambia and Sierra Leone.  The two from Sierra Leone belong to the Mende ethnic group. 

No sooner are new SNPs discovered in our project members, than they are identified in international reference samples!  These are exciting and fast-moving times for Y chromosome phylogenetic research. 

Further analysis of the 1000 Genomes B3 samples shows that L670, previously found in haplogroups R and Q, is also found in B3, so it can also be used to identify this clade.



Haplogroup B is an ancient Y chromosome clade that is almost entirely restricted to Africa. It is the second oldest clade after A, and it is spread very thinly throughout the continent. Today, the highest frequencies of B are found among small hunter-gather populations, and very rarely among populations of African descent outside of Africa. Clues about their ancient origins are also suggested by the fact that some members of clades A and B possess click languages, which some anthropologists argue is a remnant of the oldest form of spoken language, belonging, perhaps, to all of our ancestors before their migration out of Africa.

Our knowledge of the genetic origin of this clade is rapidly evolvng, given the steady number of mutations being discovered every year, and the renewed interest in studying the basal (African) clades of the human phylogenetic tree.