Haplogroup L3 (mtDNA)

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Haplogroup L3
Possible time of origin 80,000 to 104,000 YBP [1] OR 60,000 to 70,000 YBP [2]
Possible place of origin East Africa[3]
Ancestor L3'4
Descendants L3a, L3b'f, L3c'd'j, L3e'i'k'x, L3h, M, N
Defining mutations 769, 1018, 16311[4]

In human mitochondrial genetics, Haplogroup L3 is a human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroup. Haplogroup L3 has played a pivotal role in the history of the human species. Soon after the haplogroup arose in East Africa a relatively small number of migrants carried it across the Red Sea to Arabia, inaugurating an intercontinental migration that eventually settled every major land mass on Earth except Antarctica. That small group also gave rise to every non-African haplogroup.[5]


L3 is believed to have arisen in Eastern Africa between 84,000 to 104,000 years ago.[1] An analysis of 369 complete African L3 sequences places the maximum of its expansion at ∼70 ka, virtually ruling out a successful exit out of Africa before 74 ka, the date of the Toba volcanic super-eruption in Sumatra.[2] The Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor for the L3 lineage has also recently been estimated to be between 58,900 to 70,200 Years ago.[2]


It is most common in East Africa, in contrast to others parts of Africa where the haplogroups L1 and L2 represent two thirds of mtDNAs.[6]

L3 is sub-divided into several clades, two of which spawned the macro-haplogroups M and N from which the vast majority of non-Africans are descended.[7] There is at least one relatively deep non-M, non-N clade of L3 outside Africa, L3f1b6, found at 1% in Asturias Spain, which diverged from African L3 lineages at least 10,000 years ago.[8]

According to Maca-Meyer et al. (2001), "L3 is more related to Eurasian haplogroups than to the most divergent African clusters L1 and L2".[9] L3 is the haplogroup from which all modern humans outside of Africa derive.[10]

Distribution of L (excluding M and N)


This phylogenetic tree of haplogroup L3 subclades is based on the paper by Mannis van Oven and Manfred Kayser Updated comprehensive phylogenetic tree of global human mitochondrial DNA variation[4] and subsequent published research.

Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA)

  • L1-6
    • L2-6
      • L2'3'4'6
        • L3'4'6
          • L3'4
            • L3
              • L3a
              • L3b'f
                • L3b
                  • L3b1
                    • L3b1a
                      • L3b1a1
                      • L3b1a2
                    • L3b1b
                      • L3b1b1
                  • L3b2
                • L3f
                  • L3f1
                    • L3f1a
                    • L3f1b
                      • L3f1b1
                      • L3f1b2
                        • L3f1b2a
                      • 150
                        • L3f1b3
                        • L3f1b4
                          • L3f1b4a
                            • L3f1b4a1
                  • L3f2
                    • L3f2b
                  • L3f3
              • L3c'd'j
                • L3c
                • L3d
                  • L3d1-5
                    • L3d1
                      • L3d1a
                        • L3d1a1
                          • L3d1a1a
                      • L3d1b
                        • L3d1b1
                      • L3d1c
                      • L3d1d
                    • 199
                      • L3d2
                      • L3d5
                    • L3d3
                      • L3d3a
                    • L3d4
                    • L3d5
                • L3j
              • L3e'i'k'x
                • L3e
                  • L3e1
                    • L3e1a
                      • L3e1a1
                        • L3e1a1a
                      • 152
                        • L3e1a2
                        • L3e1a3
                    • L3e1b
                    • L3e1c
                    • L3e1d
                    • L3e1e
                  • L3e2
                    • L3e2a
                      • L3e2a1
                        • L3e2a1a
                        • L3e2a1b
                          • L3e2a1b1
                    • L3e2b
                      • L3e2b1
                        • L3e2b1a
                      • L3e2b2
                      • L3e2b3
                  • L3e3'4'5
                    • L3e3'4
                      • L3e3
                        • L3e3a
                        • L3e3b
                          • L3e3b1
                        • L3e4
                    • L3e5
                • L3i
                  • L3i1
                    • L3i1a
                    • L3i1b
                  • L3i2
                • L3k
                • L3x
                  • L3x1
                  • L3x2
                    • L3x2a
                      • L3x2a1
                        • L3x2a1a
                    • L3x2b
              • L3h
                • L3h1
                  • L3h1a
                    • L3h1a1
                    • L3h1a2
                      • L3h1a2a
                      • L3h1a2b
                  • L3h1b
                    • L3h1b1
                      • L3h1b1a
                        • L3h1b1a1
                    • L3h1b2
                • L3h2
              • M
              • N

See also

Evolutionary tree of human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups

  Mitochondrial Eve (L)    
L0 L1–6
L1 L2 L3   L4 L5 L6
  M   N  
CZ D E G Q   O A S   R   I W X Y
C Z B F R0   pre-JT P  U


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  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2011/11/16/molbev.msr245.short?rss=1
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  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 Behar, Doron M.; Villems, Richard; Soodyall, Himla; Blue-Smith, Jason; Pereira, Luisa; Metspalu, Ene; Scozzari, Rosaria; Makkan, Heeran; et al. (2008). "The Dawn of Human Matrilineal Diversity". The American Journal of Human Genetics. 82 (5): 1130–40. doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2008.04.002. PMC 2427203. PMID 18439549.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  14. Sheet1 - PLOS Pathogens
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  1. GUR46 on table 1. is a mtDNA haplogroup L3x2a.

External links