L0 mtDNA

  • 137 members

About us


mtDNA haplogroup L0

Each person's mtDNA is inherited solely from their mother, and therefore mtDNA traces the ancestry on each person's direct maternal line. All living people descend on their direct maternal line from a woman who is called mtDNA-Eve. Estimates by Behar et al. that the common ancestor of all L0 people lived in Africa about 140,000 years ago are not supported by mutation rates calculated using pedigrees nor do they correspond with written ancient history which indicates a diaspora from the fertile crescent between 4000 and 4500 years ago.

The similarity of the pattern of disbursement of L0 to that of the YDNA subclades D and E indicates that they have a common history. Ancient history of the diaspora indicates that Cush, who lived in the fertile crescent before migrating to Africa had two sons, one of which stayed in the fertile crescent, corresponding to haplogroup D, the other, who migrated to Africa corresponds to haplogroup E.

L0 and closely related subclades tend to have a higher mutation rate than other haplogroups which gives them the appearance of being the oldest of all subclades; however, studies show that factors such as heat have a major impact on mutation rates which is more than sufficient to account for these variations. The variation of mutation rates within various haplogroups makes any attempt gain an accurate age of a particular haplogroup or subclade outside the range of known pedigrees impossible.

Haplogroup L0 is found at very low frequency throughout Africa and the Middle East. Some of its branches are found among the Khoi and San peoples of south and east Africa.  Some major branches in the L0 tree are represented by only one mtDNA sample, and additional L0 test results are needed to fully understand the diversity and geographic distributions of subclades of L0.


Important:  If you have completed the mtDNA full genome FMS/Mega test Please consider sharing your FMS coding region results with the project administrators.  The coding region results are not shown on the project page and will not be made public, and by default they are also hidden from the project administrators. The coding region results are essential for identifying your lowest level daughter group, for estimating the age of each daughter group, for identifying new daughter groups and for filling in the fine details on the L0 tree.  To share your coding region results with the project administrators:

1. log into your FTDNA account, click on the tab "My Account" and select "Results Display Settings".

2. check the circle next to “Yes” for "Show my mtDNA Coding Region Mutations to Administrators of these Projects" for the L0 project, and click "Save".

If you have questions about your haplogroup or the L0 project please email the project administrator.