X mtDNA Haplogroup

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About us

The mtDNA Haplogroup X Project was opened in May, 2006 as a resource for those wishing to learn more about their Haplogroup.

This project is open to all assigned to Haplogroup X by their mtDNA test results.

Haplogroup X diverged from Haplogroup N more than 30,000ybp. It further split more than 20,000ybp into 2 main subgroups, X1 and X2. Haplogroup X is found in Europe, the Near East, Central Asia, North Africa and North America, and is believed to have migrated to the Americas about 15,000 years ago, making up a very small component of the Native American population (less than 3%). Bryan Sykes in his book named this mtDNA haplogroup Xenia.

Haplogroup X subclade X1 appears to be largely restricted to North Africa, East Africa and the Near East. It is characterized by an HVR2 mutation at 146. Haplogroup X1 is further divided into X1a and X1b.

Subclade X2 is more widely distributed throughout Mediterranean Europe, the Caucasus, the Near East and North America. Haplogroup X2 is divided into further subgroups. X2a is found in a few geographically diverse Native American populations, such as Navajo, Yakima and Ojibwa. It is characterized by a HVR mutations at 200 and 16213. Recent work has identified 2 sub branches of X2a. X2a1 in the Great Lakes area, and X2a2 in the west. Another Native American subgroup X2g has been identified as separate from X2a. X2b is the most geographically diverse, covering Europe and the Near East. It is characterized by an HVR2 mutation at 226. Recently an X2b1 subclade has been identified in a group of Moroccans. X2c is characterized by an HVR1 mutation at 255. X2d and X2e are characterized by mutations in the coding region that can not be differentiated from other X2's without additional mtDNA testing beyond HVR1 and HVR2. X2f is characterized by a HVR2 mutation at 257.

This Motif table is used to estimate the subclades for Haplogroup X. Exact identification requires markers in the mtDNA coding region not covered by standard mtDNA HVR1 and HVR2 testing.

Haplogroup Regional Concentration HVR1 HVR2 Coding Region
Africa 16223T 73G 7028T, 10873T, 11719A, 12705T, 14766T
Eurasia L3 L3 L3+10873C
Eurasia, North Africa, North America N+16189C, 16278T N+153G N+6221C, 6371T, 13966G, 14470C
North Africa, East Africa X X+146C  
North Africa X1+16104T X1  
North Africa X1 X1                        7337A, 9615C
Eurasia, North America X X+195C 1719A 
Native American/First Peoples X2+16213A X2+200G 8913G, 12397G, 14502C
North American Great Lakes/Plains X2a+16093C X2a+143A 3552C
Sioux X2a1+16357 X2a1 6113G
Ojibwa X2a1 X2a1 8422G
Nuu-Chah-Nulth, Na-Dene-Navaho, Yakima X2a+16254C X2a+225C  
Eurasia, Orkney, Druze X2 X2+225A+226C 8393T,15927A
Kazakhstan X2b+16248T X2b 8814T
Morocco X2b X2b 4722, 7400A, 11908
X2b X2b 8269, 14818C
Levant, UK, France, Central Europe X2b X2b 3705
Scandanavia X2b X2b+188G 12477C
Eurasia X2+16255A X2
X2 X2 8705C
Germanic countries, Ukraine, Finland X2+16108 X2
Eurasia X2 X2 6791G, 8503C
Georgia, Kyrgyz, Altai X2 X2 15310C
X2+16189A X2
X2e1 X2 9380
Turkey, UK        X2 X2 12084
Levant, Yemen, Altail X2 X2 3948
South Caucasus X2 X2+257G  
Ojibwa X2+ X2+?                                  

Source: Reidla2003, Behar2008, Perego2009, van Oven2010

One theory of how the X Haplogroup ended up in North America is they migrated from central Asia along with the A,B,C, and D Haplogroups. It is interesting that no Haplogroup X traces have been found in Siberia. The nearest X Haplotypes have been found is the Altai region of central Asia. This theory is supported by yDNA studies [Zegura.]

Schurr postulates that Haplogroup X arrived in North America via the central corridor which became free of ice about 12500 ybp.

Another theory, The Solutrean Hypothesis, is that the there was a early pre-Clovis Atlantic migration route in addition to the Asian Bering Straight land bridge as shown on the following map:

Other more imaginitive theories include:

The Mormon hypothesis, which states the Haplogroup X in North American could be the result of descendants of Lehi and Sariah as mentioned in the Book of Mormon.

The Neanderthal Hypothesis. That Haplogroup X mtDNA is descended from the Homo Sapiens Neanderthalis. While there are some X motif markers present in some Neanderthal mtDNA samples, there are also many more differences.

And finally, the Atlantis hypothesis, Where Haplogroup X is identified with the remenants of the Atlantean civilization.


Genetic Genealogy

  • A “Copernican” Reassessment of the Human Mitochondrial DNA Tree from its Root Behar et al,
  • Phylotree - van Oven M, Kayser M. 2009. Updated comprehensive phylogenetic tree of global human mitochondrial DNA variation. Hum Mutat 30(2):E386-E394.
  • Wikipedia: Models of migration to the New World
  • Charles Kerchner's Haplogroup Descriptions
  • On the Common Ancestors of All Living Humans Rohde, 2003
  • Background on the Peopling of the Earth over the last 160,000 years
  • Reduced-Median-Network Analysis of Complete Mitochondrial DNA Coding-Region Sequences for the Major African, Asian, and European Haplogroups Herrnstadt et al, 2002
  • X mtDNA

  • Distinctive Paleo-Indian Migration Routes from Beringia Marked by Two Rare mtDNA Haplogroups Perego et al, 2009
  • The Phylogeny of the Four Pan-American MtDNA Haplogroups: Implications for Evolutionary and Disease Studies Achilli et al, 2008
  • Counting the Founders: The Matrilineal Genetic Ancestry of the Jewish Diaspora Behar et al, 2008
  • The Druze: A Population Genetic Refugium of the Near East Shlush et al, 2008
  • Mitochondrial Population Genomics Supports a Single Pre-Clovis Origin with a Coastal Route for the Peopling of the Americas Fegundes et al, 2008
  • mtDNA Variation in the Altai-Kizhi Population of Southern Siberia: A Synthesis of Genetic Variation Phillips-Krawczak et al, 2006
  • Mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosome diversity and the peopling of the Americas: Evolutionary and demographic evidence Schurr, 2004
  • Origin and Diffusion of mtDNA Haplogroup X Reidla et al, 2003
  • High-Resolution SNPs and Microsatellite Haplotypes Point to a Single, Recent Entry of Native American Y Chromosomes into the Americas Zegura et al, 2003
  • Identification of Native American Founder mtDNAs Through the Analysis of Complete mtDNA Sequences: Some Caveats Bandelt et al, 2003
  • Mitochondrial DNA and the Peopling of the New World Schurr, 2000
  • mtDNA Haplogroup X: An Ancient Link between Europe/Western Asia and North America? Brown et al, 1998
  • Additional Resources

  • Neanderthal DNA ISOGG, 2006
  • Interpreting the DNA Data and the Book of Mormon Tvedtnes
  • DNA Evidence for Atlantis Hall, 2006
  • Wikipedia, Haplogroup X (mtDNA)
  • Other X mtDNA HaploGroup Web sites: WorldFamilies.net/mtdna/x