Haplogroup T (mtDNA)

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Haplogroup T
Possible time of origin 25,149 ± 4,668 years before present
Possible place of origin Near East
Coalescence age {{{TMRCA}}}
Ancestor JT
Descendants T1 and T2
Defining mutations G709A, G1888A, A4917G, G8697A, T10463C, G13368A, G14905A, A15607G, G15928A, C16294T

Haplogroup T is a human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroup. It is believed to have originated around 25,100 years ago in the Near East.


Mitochondrial haplogroup T derives from the haplogroup J'T, which also gave rise to mtDNA haplogroup J. The T clade is thought to have emanated from the Near East (Bermisheva 2002).


Projected spatial frequency distribution for haplogroup T.

The basal haplogroup T* is found among Algerians in Oran (1.67%) and Reguibate Sahrawi (0.93%).[1] It is also distributed among the Soqotri (1.2%).[2]

Haplogroup T is present at low frequencies haplogroup throughout Western and Central Asia and Europe, with varying degrees of prevalence and certainly might have been present in other groups from the surrounding areas. T is found in approximately 10% of native Europeans.[3][4] It is also common among modern day Iranians. Based on a sample of over 400 modern day Iranians (Kivisild and Metspalu 2003), the T haplogroup represents roughly 8.3% of the population (about 1 out of 12 individuals), with the more specific T1 subtype constituting roughly half of those. Furthermore, the specific subtype T1 tends to be found further east and is common in Central Asian and modern Turkic populations (Lalueza-Fox 2004), who inhabit much of the same territory as the ancient Saka, Sarmatian, Andronovo, and other putative Iranian peoples of the 2nd and 1st millennia BC. Lalueza-Fox et al. (2004) also found several T and T1 sequences in ancient burials, including Kurgans, in the Kazakh steppe between the 14th-10th centuries BC, as well as later into the 1st millennia BC. These coincide with the latter part of the Andronovo period and the Saka period in the region.[5]

Haplogroup T is currently found with high concentrations around the eastern Baltic Sea.

The geographic distribution within subclade T2 varies greatly with the ratio of subhaplogroup T2e to T2b reported to vary 40-fold across examined populations from a low in Britain and Ireland, to a high in Saudi Arabia (Bedford 2012). Within subhaplogroup T2e, a very rare motif is identified among Sephardic Jews of Turkey and Bulgaria and suspected conversos from the New World (Bedford 2012). Found in Svan population from Caucasus (Georgia) T* 10,4% and T1 4,2%. T1a1a1 is particularly common in countries with high levels of Y-haplogroup R1a, such as Central and Northeast Europe, but also everywhere in Central Asia and deep into North Asia, as far east as Mongolia.

T2c and T2d appear to have a Near Eastern origin around the time of the Last Glacial Maximum and more recent dispersals into Europe. Most of T2c comprises haplogroup T2c1. Apart from a peak in Cyprus, T2c1 is most common in the Gulf region but is also found in the Levant and in Mediterranean Europe, with a more far-flung distribution at very low levels.[6]

T2 is also found among the Soqotri (7.7%).[2]


Wilde et al. (2014) tested mtDNA samples from the Yamna culture, the presumed homeland of Proto-Indo-European speakers. They found T2a1b in the Middle Volga region and Bulgaria, and T1a both in central Ukraine and the Middle Volga. The frequency of T1a and T2 in Yamna samples were each 14.5%, a percentage higher than in any country today and only found in similarly high frequencies among the Udmurts of the Volga-Ural region.[7]


In Africa, haplogroup T is primarily found among Afro-Asiatic-speaking populations, including the basal T* clade.[1] Some non-basal T clades are also commonly found among the Niger-Congo-speaking Serer due to diffusion from the Maghreb, likely with the spread of Islam and urban civilizations.[8]

Population Location Language Family N Frequency Source
Amhara Ethiopia Afro-Asiatic > Semitic 5/120 4.17% Kivisild 2004
Beja Sudan Afro-Asiatic > Cushitic 1/48 2.1% Hassan 2009
Beta Israel Ethiopia Afro-Asiatic > Cushitic 0/29 0.00% Behar 2008a
Copt Egypt Afro-Asiatic > Egyptian 5/29 17.2% Hassan 2009
Dawro K. Ethiopia Afro-Asiatic > Omotic 2/137 1.46% Castrì 2008 and Boattini 2013
Egyptians (El-Hayez) Egypt Afro-Asiatic > Semitic 10/35 28.6% Kujanova 2009
Ethiopia Ethiopia Undetermined 2/77 2.60% Soares 2011
Ethiopian Jew Ethiopia Afro-Asiatic > Cushitic 0/41 0.00% Non 2011
Gurage Ethiopia Afro-Asiatic > Semitic 0/21 0.00% Kivisild 2004
Hamer Ethiopia Afro-Asiatic > Omotic 0/11 0.00% Castrì 2008 and Boattini 2013
Ongota Ethiopia Afro-Asiatic > Cushitic 0/19 0.00% Castrì 2008 and Boattini 2013
Oromo Ethiopia Afro-Asiatic > Cushitic 0/33 0.00% Kivisild 2004
Tigrai Ethiopia Afro-Asiatic > Semitic 3/44 6.82% Kivisild 2004
Daasanach Kenya Afro-Asiatic > Cushitic 0/49 0.00% Poloni 2009
Elmolo Kenya Afro-Asiatic > Cushitic 0/52 0.00% Castrì 2008 and Boattini 2013
Luo Kenya Nilo-Saharan 0/49 0.00% Castrì 2008 and Boattini 2013
Maasai Kenya Nilo-Saharan 0/81 0.00% Castrì 2008 and Boattini 2013
Nairobi Kenya Niger-Congo 0/100 0.00% Brandstatter 2004
Nyangatom Kenya Nilo-Saharan 0/112 0.00% Poloni 2009
Rendille Kenya Afro-Asiatic > Cushitic 0/17 0.00% Castrì 2008 and Boattini 2013
Samburu Kenya Nilo-Saharan 0/35 0.00% Castrì 2008 and Boattini 2013
Turkana Kenya Nilo-Saharan 0/51 0.00% Castrì 2008 and Boattini 2013
Hutu Rwanda Niger-Congo 0/42 0.00% Castrì 2009
Dinka Sudan Nilo-Saharan 0/46 0.00% Krings 1999
Sudan Sudan Undetermined 3/102 2.94% Soares 2011
Burunge Tanzania Afro-Asiatic > Cushitic 0/38 0.00% Tishkoff 2007
Datoga Tanzania Nilo-Saharan 1/57 1.75% Tishkoff 2007 and Knight 2003
Iraqw Tanzania Afro-Asiatic > Cushitic 0/12 0.00% Knight 2003
Sukuma Tanzania Niger-Congo 0/32 0.00% Tishkoff 2007 and Knight 2003
Turu Tanzania Niger-Congo 0/29 0.00% Tishkoff 2007
Yemeni Yemen Afro-Asiatic > Semitic 1/114 0.88% Kivisild 2004




Schematic tree of mtDNA haplogroup T. Ages (in ka) indicated are maximum likelihood estimates obtained for the whole-mtDNA genome.


This phylogenetic tree of haplogroup I subclades is based on the paper (van Oven 2008) and subsequent published research (Behar 2012b). For brevity, only the first three levels of subclades (branches) are shown.

  • T
    • T1
      • T1a
        • T1a1
      • T1b
    • T2
      • T2a
        • T2a1
      • T2b
        • T2b1
        • T2b2
        • T2b3
        • T2b4
        • T2b5
        • T2b6
      • T2c
        • T2c1
      • T2d
      • T2e
        • T2e2
      • T2f
        • T2f1
      • T2g

Health Issues[edit]

One study has shown Haplogroup T to be associated with increased risk for coronary artery disease (Sanger 2007). However, some studies have also shown that people of Haplogroup T are less prone to diabetes (Chinnery 2007 and González 2012).

A few tentative medical studies have demonstrated that Haplogroup T may offer some resistance to both Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.[Footnote 1]

One study has found that among the Spanish population, Hypertrophic CardioMyopathy (HCM) also referred to as Hypertrophic Obstructive CardioMyopathy or HOCM is more likely to happen in those of T2 ancestry than those in other maternal haplogroups.[9] It is unknown whether or not this is specific to this subclaude of haplogroup T or is a risk factor shared by all of haplogroup T. With a statistically significant difference found in such a small sample, it may be advisable for those of known haplogroup T maternal ancestry to be aware of this and have their physician check for evidence of this condition whan having a routine exam at an early age. It is usually symptom-less and increases the risk of sudden cardiac death, which often happens to those of as early in life as teenagers and may affect those who are active and have no other risk factors.[10]

Certain medical studies had shown mitochondrial Haplogroup T to be associated with reduced sperm motility in males, although these results have been challenged (Mishmar 2002). According to the Departamento de Bioquimica y Biologica Molecular y Celular, Universidad de Zaragoza, Haplogroup T can predispose to asthenozoospermia (Ruiz-Pesini 2000). However, these findings have been disputed due to a small sample size in the study (Mishmar 2002).

Famous Members[edit]

Nicholas II of Russia[edit]

The last Russian Tsar, Nicholas II, has been shown to be of Haplogroup T, specifically subclade T2 (Ivanov 1996). Assuming all relevant pedigrees are correct, this includes all female-line descendants of his female line ancestor Barbara of Celje (1390-1451), wife of Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor. This includes a great number of European nobles, including George I of Great Britain and Frederick William I of Prussia (through the Electress Sophia of Hanover), Charles I of England, George III of the United Kingdom, George V of the United Kingdom, Charles X Gustav of Sweden, Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange, Olav V of Norway, and George I of Greece. Many European royals have been found to be of this mtDNA Haplogroup, in addition to Haplogroup H (mtDNA).[citation needed]

See also[edit]


Backbone mtDNA Tree[edit]

Phylogenetic 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



  1. ^ Phylogenetic Networks for the Human mtDNA Haplogroup T, David A. Pike, "Elsewhere it has been reported that membership in haplogroup T may offer some protection against Alzheimer Disease (Chagnon et al. 1999; Herrnstadt et al. 2002) and also Parkinson's Disease (Pyle et al. 2005), but the cautionary words of Pereira et al. suggest that further studies may be necessary before reaching firm conclusions."


  1. ^ a b Asmahan Bekada; Lara R. Arauna; Tahria Deba; Francesc Calafell; Soraya Benhamamouch; David Comas (September 24, 2015). "Genetic Heterogeneity in Algerian Human Populations". PLoS ONE. 10 (9): e0138453. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0138453. PMC 4581715Freely accessible. PMID 26402429. Retrieved 14 May 2016. ; S5 Table
  2. ^ a b Černý, Viktor; et al. (2009). "Out of Arabia—the settlement of island Soqotra as revealed by mitochondrial and Y chromosome genetic diversity" (PDF). American journal of Physical Anthropology. 138 (4): 439–447. doi:10.1002/ajpa.20960. PMID 19012329. Retrieved 13 June 2016. 
  3. ^ Bryan Sykes (2001). The Seven Daughters of Eve. London; New York: Bantam Press. ISBN 0393020185. 
  4. ^ "Maternal Ancestry". Oxford Ancestors. Retrieved 7 February 2013. 
  5. ^ Bennett, Casey; Kaestle, Frederika A. (2010). "Investigation of Ancient DNA from Western Siberia and the Sargat Culture". Human Biology. 82 (2): 143–156. doi:10.3378/027.082.0202. 
  6. ^ Pala, M; Olivieri, A; Achilli, A; Accetturo, M; Metspalu, E; Reidla, M; Tamm, E; Karmin, M; Reisberg, T; Hooshiar Kashani, B; Perego, UA; Carossa, V; Gandini, F; Pereira, JB; Soares, P; Angerhofer, N; Rychkov, S; Al-Zahery, N; Carelli, V; Sanati, MH; Houshmand, M; Hatina, J; Macaulay, V; Pereira, L; Woodward, SR; Davies, W; Gamble, C; Baird, D; Semino, O; Villems, R; Torroni, A; Richards, MB (4 May 2012). "Mitochondrial DNA Signals of Late Glacial Recolonization of Europe from Near Eastern Refugia". The American Journal of Human Genetics. Elsevier Inc. 90: 915–924. doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2012.04.003. PMC 3376494Freely accessible. PMID 22560092. http://haplogroup.org/sources/mitochondrial-dna-signals-of-late-glacial-recolonization-of-europe-from-near-eastern-refugia/
  7. ^ "Direct evidence for positive selection of skin, hair, and eye pigmentation in Europeans during the last 5,000 y". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 111: 4832–4837. doi:10.1073/pnas.1316513111. 
  8. ^ Ball, Edward (2007). The Genetic Strand: Exploring a Family History Through DNA. Simon and Schuster. p. 233. ISBN 1416554254. Retrieved 31 May 2016. 
  9. ^ Castro, M. "Mitochondrial DNA haplogroups in Spanish patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.". Int J Cardiol. 112: 202–6. doi:10.1016/j.ijcard.2005.09.008. PMID 16313983. 
  10. ^ Chen, Michael. "Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy - Medical Encyclopedia". Medline Plus. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved 2015-10-03. 


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]