Haplogroup K2

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Haplogroup K2
Possible time of origin 47,000-55,000 years BP [1]
Possible place of origin Southeast Asia [2]
Ancestor K
Descendants K2a (M2308); K2b (MPS); K2c; K2d; K2e.
Defining mutations rs2033003 (M526)

Haplogroup K2, also known as K-M526 and formerly known as K(xLT) and MNOPS,[3] is a human Y-DNA Haplogroup.

Relative to its age, the internal structure of K2 is extremely complex, and subclades of it are carried by males native to regions including Oceania, South East Asia, East Asia, Central Asia, the Americas, Europe, the Horn of Africa and South Asia.

The only living males reported as carrying the basal paragroup K2* (K-M526) are indigenous Australian males. Up to 27% of them may carry K2* and approximately 29% of Aboriginal Australian males belong to subclades of K2b1.[4][5]

While Ust'-Ishim man, an individual who lived approximately 45,000 BP, in Siberia, was believed at one time to belong to K2*,[1] in 2016 this was revised to K2a.


A direct descendant of Haplogroup K, K2 is a sibling of basal/paragroup K* and Haplogroup LT (also known as K1).

Haplogroup K2 is the direct ancestral haplogroup to five primary clades (as of 2016) and many notable subclades:[6]


At the level of highly-derived subclades, K2 is almost universal in some modern Eurasian and Native American populations. However, the only living males reported to carry the basal paragroup K2* are indigenous Australians. Major studies published in 2014 and 2015 suggest that up to 27% of Aboriginal Australian males carry K-M526* and others carry a subclade of K2: another 27% probably have K2b1a1 (P60, P304, P308; also known as "S-P308") and perhaps 2.0% have Haplogroup M1 – also known as M-M4 (or "M-M186") and K2b1d1.[4][5]

Haplogroup NO (K2a) includes most males among Southeast Asian, East Asian and Finno-Ugric populations.[citation needed]

The descendants of K2b include the major haplogroups M; S, P, Q, and R. These are now numerically in dominant in: Oceania, Central Asia, Siberia, among Native American populations, Europe, and South Asia.

A rapid diversification within and from K2 (M526), most likely in Southeast Asia, is suggested by estimates of the point in time that K2 branched off from K* (M9). Likewise the branching from K2 of K2b (P331) and Haplogroup P (K2b2 P295) from K2b, as well as Haplogroups Q and R from P (K2b2), and their subsequent expansions westward in Europe,[2] and eastward into the Americas.

K2c, K2d, and K2e are extremely rare, minor lineages in specific parts of South and Southeast Asia.[7] K2c (P261) has been reported only among males in Bali and K2d (P402) only in Java. K2e (M147), which has been found in two modern cases from South India,[7] was provisionally named "pre-NO" (among other names), as it was believed initially to be ancestral to K2a (NO). However, it was later found to be a primary branch of Haplogroup K2 (K-M526) and a sibling of K2a; the new clade was renamed K2e.


The name K2 was introduced in 2014, following dissatisfaction with the previous names.

K(xLT), the name introduced by the Y Chromosome Consortium in 2012 to replace MNOPS, was controversial. Under the previous methodology, a term such as "K(xLT)" designated all clades and subclades that belonged to K, but did not belong to Haplogroup LT; the haplogroups subordinate to MNOPS would likely have been renamed "U", "V", "W" and "X", and MNOPS would therefore have become "MNOPSUVWX". This posed a problem, because there was no way to disambiguate between "K(xLT)" in the broad and narrow meanings of the term.


  1. ^ a b [1]
  2. ^ a b Karafet et al. 2014
  3. ^ Chiaroni, Jacques; Underhill, Peter A.; Cavalli-Sforza, Luca L. (2009). "Y chromosome diversity, human expansion, drift, and cultural evolution". PNAS. 106: 20174–9. PMC 2787129Freely accessible. PMID 19920170. doi:10.1073/pnas.0910803106. 
  4. ^ a b Nagle, N. et al., 2015, "Antiquity and diversity of aboriginal Australian Y-chromosomes", American Journal of Physical Anthropology (epub ahead of print version; abstract). (The authors assumed 56% of the samples taken to be non-indigenous.)
  5. ^ a b Karafet 2014
  6. ^ G. David Poznik et al., 2016, "Punctuated bursts in human male demography inferred from 1,244 worldwide Y-chromosome sequences" Nature Genetics], no. 48, pp. 593–599.
  7. ^ a b Tatiana M. Karafet, Fernando L. Mendez, Herawati Sudoyo, J. Stephen Lansing and Michael F. Hammer; 2015, "Improved phylogenetic resolution and rapid diversification of Y-chromosome haplogroup K-M526 in Southeast Asia", European Journal of Human Genetics, no. 23 (March), pp. 369–73.

Phylogenetic tree of human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroups [χ 1][χ 2]
"Y-chromosomal Adam"
A00 A0-T [χ 3]
A0 A1 [χ 4]
A1a A1b
A1b1 BT
F1  F2  F3  GHIJK
IJ   K
I J     LT [χ 5]  K2
L     T [χ 6] K2a [χ 7] K2b [χ 8]   K2c   K2d  K2e [χ 9]  
K2a1                    K2b1 [χ 10]    P [χ 11]
NO    S [χ 12]  M [χ 13]    P1     P2
NO1    Q   R
  1. ^ Van Oven M, Van Geystelen A, Kayser M, Decorte R, Larmuseau HD (2014). "Seeing the wood for the trees: a minimal reference phylogeny for the human Y chromosome". Human Mutation. 35 (2): 187–91. PMID 24166809. doi:10.1002/humu.22468. 
  2. ^ International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG; 2015), Y-DNA Haplogroup Tree 2015. (Access date: 1 February 2015.)
  3. ^ Haplogroup A0-T is also known as A0'1'2'3'4.
  4. ^ Haplogroup A1 is also known as A1'2'3'4.
  5. ^ Haplogroup LT (L298/P326) is also known as Haplogroup K1.
  6. ^ Between 2002 and 2008, Haplogroup T (M184) was known as "Haplogroup K2" – that name has since been re-assigned to K-M526, the sibling of Haplogroup LT.
  7. ^ Haplogroup K2a (M2308) and the new subclade K2a1 (M2313) were separated from Haplogroup NO (F549) in 2016. (This followed the publication of: Poznik GD, Xue Y, Mendez FL, et al. (2016). "Punctuated bursts in human male demography inferred from 1,244 worldwide Y-chromosome sequences". Nature Genetics. 48 (6): 593–9. PMC 4884158Freely accessible. PMID 27111036. doi:10.1038/ng.3559.  In the past, other haplogroups, including NO1 (M214) and K2e had also been identified with the name "K2a".
  8. ^ Haplogroup K2b (M1221/P331/PF5911) is also known as Haplogroup MPS.
  9. ^ Haplogroup K2e (K-M147) was previously known as "Haplogroup X" and "K2a" (but is a sibling subclade of the present K2a).
  10. ^ Haplogroup K2b1 (P397/P399) is also known as Haplogroup MS, but has a broader and more complex internal structure.
  11. ^ Haplogroup P (P295) is also klnown as K2b2.
  12. ^ Haplogroup S, as of 2017, is also known as K2b1a. (Previously the name Haplogroup S was assigned to K2b1a4.)
  13. ^ Haplogroup M, as of 2017, is also known as K2b1b. (Previously the name Haplogroup M was assigned to K2b1d.)