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Description of the J1* with DYS388=13 branch (by James A. Honeychuck)

Y-DNA J1* with DYS388=13, 12, or 14 is a branch of J1 which as yet has no known SNPs beyond the one which defines J1 (M267+).  The asterisk in J1* is the notation for "no further mutations".  The branch is distinctive by having the relatively rare value of 13, 12 (very rare), or 14 at the marker DYS388.  Researcher Marko Heinila has identified its other distinctive markers as DYS436=11 and DYS490=13 or 14, often together with DYS607=13 and YCAII=20,22.

In J1*, DYS388=13 is thought by researchers to be a very old, two-step mutation from J1* with DYS388=15. (Note 1)  By the estimate from Marko Heinila's software, Y-DNA J1* with DYS388=13, 12, or 14 branched from the rest of J1 about 13,800 years ago (margin of error about 20%).  Two other informed estimates of the age of J1* with DYS388=13 are 11,000 to 13,000 years, and 10,113 years. (Note 2)

J1* with DYS388=14 in turn branched off from J1* with DYS388=13 about 5,500 years ago. (Note 3)

J1* with DYS388=12 does not constitute a branch on its own, just a few cases with that further mutation.

Considering its age and where people were living 13,000 years ago, the mutation from DYS388=15 to 13 in J1 may have occurred in a man who lived somewhere in the Taurus or Zagros mountains of western Asia.  However, a recent academic paper suggests that it occurred in the north Caucasus about 11,900 years ago. (Note 4)

J1* with DYS388=13 is found most frequently in northeastern Iraq, northwestern Iran, and the eastern Caucasus. For a map of cases of J1* with DYS388=13, 12, or 14 from all sources (Family Tree DNA, other DNA testing companies, and academic papers), see the Google Map at .


1. Nebel A, Filon D, Hohoff C, Faerman M, Brinkmann B, Oppenheim A (2001), "Haplogroup-specific deviation from the stepwise mutation model at the microsatellite loci DYS388 and DYS392," Eur J Hum Genet 9:22–26, ; also, Cinniog ̆lu et al., "Excavating Y-chromosome haplotype strata in Anatolia," Hum Genet (2004) 114 : 127–148 DOI 10.1007/s00439-003-1031-4;

2. A conference presentation summary at suggests the age of 11,000 to 13,000 years. Also, a paper by Sergio Tofanelli et al. ("Y lineage marks climate-driven pre-historical human displacements," European Journal of Human Genetics (2009), p.1–5, ), estimates the age of J1* with DYS388=13 as 10,113 years.


4. "The Causasus as an asymmetric semipermeable barrier to ancient human migrations," by Bayazit Yunusbayev et al. 2011