Haplogroup N (mtDNA)
|Possible time of origin||Approx. 71,000 YBP|
|Possible place of origin||Asia|
|Descendants||N1'5, N2, N8, N9, N10, N11, N13, N14, N21, N22, A, I, O, R, S, X, Y, W|
|Defining mutations||8701, 9540, 10398, 10873, 15301|
In human mitochondrial genetics, Haplogroup N is a human mitochondrial DNA haplogroup. An enormous haplogroup spanning many continents, the macro-haplogroup N, like its sibling M, is a descendant of haplogroup L3.
All mtDNA haplogroups found outside of Africa are descendants of either haplogroup N or its sibling haplogroup M. M and N are the signature haplogroups that define the out of Africa migration and the subsequent spread to rest of the world. The global distribution of haplogroups N and M, indicates that very likely, there was one particularly major prehistoric migration of humans out of Africa, and both N and M were part of the same colonization process.
There is widespread agreement in the scientific community concerning the African ancestry of haplogroup L3 (haplogroup N's parent clade). However, whether or not the mutations which define haplogroup N itself first occurred within Asia or Africa has been a subject for ongoing discussion and study.
The out of Africa hypothesis has gained generalized consensus. However, many specific questions remain unsettled. To know whether the two M and N macrohaplogroups that colonized Eurasia were already present in Africa before the exit is puzzling.
Torroni et al. 2006 state that Haplogroups M, N and R occurred somewhere between East Africa and the Persian Gulf.
Also related to the origins of haplogroup N is whether ancestral haplogroups M, N and R were part of the same migration out of Africa, or whether Haplogroup N left Africa via the Northern route through the Levant, and M left Africa via Horn of Africa. This theory was suggested because haplogroup N is by far the predominant haplogroup in Western Eurasia, and haplogroup M is absent in Western Eurasia, but is predominant in India and is common in regions East of India. However, the mitochondrial DNA variation in isolated "relict" populations in southeast Asia and among Indigenous Australians supports the view that there was only a single dispersal from Africa. Southeast Asian populations and Indigenous Australians all possess deep rooted clades of both haplogroups M and N. The distribution of the earliest branches within haplogroups M, N, and R across Eurasia and Oceania therefore supports a three-founder-mtDNA scenario and a single migration route out of Africa. These findings also highlight the importance of Indian subcontinent in the early genetic history of human settlement and expansion.
Asian origin hypothesis
The hypothesis of Asia as the place of origin of haplogroup N is supported by the following:
- Haplogroup N is found in all parts of the world but has low frequencies in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to a number of studies, the presence of Haplogroup N in Africa is most likely the result of back migration from Eurasia.
- The oldest clades of macrohaplogroup N are found in Asia and Australia.
- It would be paradoxical that haplogroup N had traveled all the distance to Australia or New World yet failed to affect other populations within Africa besides North Africans and Horn Africans.
- N1 is the only sub-clade of haplogroup N that has been observed in Africa. However N1a is the only one in East Africa: this haplogroup is even younger and is not restricted to Africa, N1a has also been detected in Southern Siberia and was found in a 2,500-year-old Scytho-Siberian burial in the Altai region.
- The mitochondrial DNA variation in isolated "relict" populations in southeast Asia supports the view that there was only a single dispersal from Africa. The distribution of the earliest branches within haplogroups M, N, and R across Eurasia and Oceania provides additional evidence for a three-founder-mtDNA scenario and a single migration route out of Africa. These findings also highlight the importance of Indian subcontinent in the early genetic history of human settlement and expansion. Therefore N’s history is similar to M and R which have their most probably origin in South Asia.
African origin hypothesis
According to Toomas Kivisild "the lack of L3 lineages other than M and N in India and among non-African mitochondria in general suggests that the earliest migration(s) of modern humans already carried these two mtDNA ancestors, via a departure route over the Horn of Africa.
Haplogroup N is derived from the ancestral L3 haplotype that represents the 'Out of Africa' migration. Haplogroup N is the ancestral haplogroup to almost all European and Oceanian haplogroups in addition to many Asian and Amerindian ones. It is believed to have arisen at a similar time to haplogroup M. Subclades such as Haplogroup U6, are also found at moderate to low frequencies in the Northwest and East Africa, due to a back migration from Asia around 27,000 years ago.
In popular science
In the book The Real Eve, Stephen Oppenheimer refers to haplogroup N as "Nasreen" as haplogroup N may have arisen near the Persian Gulf. In his popular book The Seven Daughters of Eve, Bryan Sykes named the originator of this mtDNA haplogroup "Naomi".
- Haplogroup N1'5
- Haplogroup N1 - found in West Eurasia.
- Haplogroup N1b - found in Middle East, Egypt, Caucasus and Europe
- Haplogroup N1c - Northern Saudi Arabia, Turkey 
- Haplogroup N5 - found in India.
- Haplogroup N1 - found in West Eurasia.
- Haplogroup N2
- Haplogroup N8 - found in China.
- Haplogroup N9 - found in Far East.
- Haplogroup N9a - East Asia, Southeast Asia and Central Asia.
- Haplogroup N9b - found in Japan and the lower basin of the Amur River.
- Haplogroup Y - found especially among Nivkhs, Ulchs, Negidals, Ainus, and the population of Nias Island, with a moderate frequency among other Tungusic peoples, Koreans, Mongols, Koryaks, Itelmens, Chinese, Japanese, Tajiks, Island Southeast Asians (including Taiwanese aborigines), and some Turkic peoples
- Haplogroup N10 - found in China and Southeast Asia.
- Haplogroup N11 - found in China and the Philippines.
- Haplogroup O or N12- found among indigenous Australians and the Floresians of Indonesia.
- Haplogroup N13 - indigenous Australians
- Haplogroup N14 - indigenous Australians
- Haplogroup N21 - In ethnic Malays from Malaysia and Indonesia.
- Haplogroup N22 - Southeast Asia and Japan
- Haplogroup A - found in Central and East Asia, as well as among Native Americans.
- Haplogroup S - extended among indigenous Australians
- Haplogroup X - found most often in Western Eurasia, but also present in the Americas.
- Haplogroup X1 - found primarily in North Africa as well as in some populations of the Levant, notably among Druzes
- Haplogroup X2 - found in Western Eurasia, Siberia and among Native Americans
- Haplogroup R - a very extended and diversified macro-haplogroup.
This phylogenetic tree of haplogroup N subclades is based on the paper by Mannis van Oven and Manfred Kayser Updated comprehensive phylogenetic tree of global human mitochondrial DNA variation and subsequent published research.
Evolutionary tree of human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups
|Mitochondrial Eve (L)|
- Soares, Pedro; Ermini, Luca; Thomson, Noel; Mormina, Maru; Rito, Teresa; Röhl, Arne; Salas, Antonio; Oppenheimer, Stephen; MacAulay, Vincent; Richards, Martin B. (2009). "Correcting for Purifying Selection: An Improved Human Mitochondrial Molecular Clock". The American Journal of Human Genetics 84 (6): 740. doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2009.05.001. PMC 2694979. PMID 19500773.
- MacAulay, V.; Hill, C; Achilli, A; Rengo, C; Clarke, D; Meehan, W; Blackburn, J; Semino, O et al. (2005). "Single, Rapid Coastal Settlement of Asia Revealed by Analysis of Complete Mitochondrial Genomes". Science 308 (5724): 1034–6. doi:10.1126/science.1109792. PMID 15890885. "Haplogroup L3 (the African clade that gave rise to the two basal non-African clades, haplogroups M and N) is 84,000 years old, and haplogroups M and N themselves are almost identical in age at 63,000 years old, with haplogroup R diverging rapidly within haplogroup N 60,000 years ago."
- Richards, Martin; Bandelt, Hans-JüRgen; Kivisild, Toomas; Oppenheimer, Stephen (2006). "A Model for the Dispersal of Modern Humans out of Africa". "Human Mitochondrial DNA and the Evolution of Homo sapiens". Nucleic Acids and Molecular Biology 18. p. 225. doi:10.1007/3-540-31789-9_10. ISBN 978-3-540-31788-3. "subclades. L3b d, L3e and L3f, for instance, are clearly of African origin, whereas haplogroup N is of apparently Eurasian origin"
- Gonder, M. K.; Mortensen, H. M.; Reed, F. A.; De Sousa, A.; Tishkoff, S. A. (2006). "Whole-mtDNA Genome Sequence Analysis of Ancient African Lineages". Molecular Biology and Evolution 24 (3): 757. doi:10.1093/molbev/msl209. PMID 17194802. "the presence of haplogroups N1 and J in Tanzania suggest "back" migration from the Middle East or Eurasia into eastern Africa, which has been inferred from previous studies of other populations in eastern Africa"
- Olivieri, A.; Achilli, A.; Pala, M.; Battaglia, V.; Fornarino, S.; Al-Zahery, N.; Scozzari, R.; Cruciani, F.; Behar, D. M.; Dugoujon, J.-M.; Coudray, C.; Santachiara-Benerecetti, A. S.; Semino, O.; Bandelt, H.-J.; Torroni, A. (2006). "The mtDNA Legacy of the Levantine Early Upper Palaeolithic in Africa". Science 314 (5806): 1767. doi:10.1126/science.1135566. PMID 17170302. "The scenario of a back-migration into Africa is supported by another feature of the mtDNA phylogeny. Haplogroup M's Eurasian sister clade, haplogroup N, which has a very similar age to M and no indication of an African origin"
- Abu-Amero, Khaled K; Larruga, José M; Cabrera, Vicente M; González, Ana M (2008). "Mitochondrial DNA structure in the Arabian Peninsula". BMC Evolutionary Biology 8: 45. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-8-45. PMC 2268671. PMID 18269758.
- Kivisild T, Rootsi S, Metspalu M, et al. (2003). "The genetic heritage of the earliest settlers persists both in Indian tribal and caste populations". American Journal of Human Genetics 72 (2): 313–32. doi:10.1086/346068. PMC 379225. PMID 12536373."Also, the lack of L3 lineages other than M and N in India and among non-African mitochondria in general suggests that the earliest migration(s) of modern humans already carried these two mtDNA ancestors, via a departure route over the horn of Africa."
- Kivisild et al (2007). "Genetic Evidence of Modern Human Dispersals in South Asia". The Evolution and History of Human Populations in South Asia.
- van Oven M, Kayser M (2009). "Updated comprehensive phylogenetic tree of global human mitochondrial DNA variation". Human Mutation 30 (2): E386–94. doi:10.1002/humu.20921. PMID 18853457.
- MacAulay, V.; Hill, C; Achilli, A; Rengo, C; Clarke, D; Meehan, W; Blackburn, J; Semino, O et al. (2005). "Single, Rapid Coastal Settlement of Asia Revealed by Analysis of Complete Mitochondrial Genomes". Science 308 (5724): 1034–6. doi:10.1126/science.1109792. PMID 15890885.
- González, Ana M; Larruga, José M; Abu-Amero, Khaled K; Shi, Yufei; Pestano, José; Cabrera, Vicente M (2007). "Mitochondrial lineage M1 traces an early human backflow to Africa". BMC Genomics 8: 223. doi:10.1186/1471-2164-8-223. PMC 1945034. PMID 17620140.
- Torroni, A; Achilli, A; MacAulay, V; Richards, M; Bandelt, H (2006). "Harvesting the fruit of the human mtDNA tree". Trends in Genetics 22 (6): 339. doi:10.1016/j.tig.2006.04.001. PMID 16678300.
- Palanichamy MG, Sun C, Agrawal S, et al. (2004). "Phylogeny of mitochondrial DNA macrohaplogroup N in India, based on complete sequencing: implications for the peopling of South Asia". American Journal of Human Genetics 75 (6): 966–78. doi:10.1086/425871. PMC 1182158. PMID 15467980.
- Maji, Suvendu; Krithika, S.; Vasulu, T. S. (2008). "Distribution of Mitochondrial DNA Macrohaplogroup N in India with Special Reference to Haplogroup R and its Sub-Haplogroup U". International Journal of Human Genetics 8 (1–2): 85–96.
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- Ian Logan's mtDNA site
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- Kong, Qing-Peng et al 2011, Large-Scale mtDNA Screening Reveals a Surprising Matrilineal Complexity in East Asia and Its Implications to the Peopling of the Region.
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- Gunnarsdóttir, Ellen et al 2010, High-throughput sequencing of complete human mtDNA genomes from the Philippines
- "Hudjashov". Ianlogan.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
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- Hill, C.; Soares, P.; Mormina, M.; MacAulay, V.; Meehan, W.; Blackburn, J.; Clarke, D.; Raja, J. M.; Ismail, P.; Bulbeck, D.; Oppenheimer, S.; Richards, M. (2006). "Phylogeography and Ethnogenesis of Aboriginal Southeast Asians". Molecular Biology and Evolution 23 (12): 2480. doi:10.1093/molbev/msl124. PMID 16982817.
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- "Haplogroup A". Ianlogan.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
- "Haplogroup S". Ianlogan.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
- "Haplogroup X". Ianlogan.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
- "Haplogroup R*". Ianlogan.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
- Haplogroup N
- Mannis van Oven's - mtDNA subtree N
- Spread of Haplogroup N, from National Geographic
- Hudjashov, G.; Kivisild, T.; Underhill, P. A.; Endicott, P.; Sanchez, J. J.; Lin, A. A.; Shen, P.; Oefner, P.; Renfrew, C.; Villems, R.; Forster, P. (2007). "Revealing the prehistoric settlement of Australia by Y chromosome and mtDNA analysis". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104 (21): 8726. doi:10.1073/pnas.0702928104. PMC 1885570. PMID 17496137.
- Katherine Borges' The Haplogroup N mtDNA Study at Family Tree DNA
- Ian Logan's Mitochondrial DNA Site