What is the difference between the various mtDNA Haplogroups?

Looking at the various maps,

there are many Haplogroups - H1, HV, H5, I, J, K and so on. What is the difference between them? Why are they all different?

Also, is R1b and R1a a mtDNA haplogroup or Y-chromosome Haplogroup?

Which Haplogroup is being measured or matched when comparing genetic similarities between different nations?

Note: there was a link attached of a website with various mtDNA haplogroups, but the ultra mega DUMB yahoo won't let me post it.

3 Answers

  • Anonymous
    8 months ago
    Favourite answer

    The different haplogroups have different unique mutations in their mitochondrial DNA. mtDNA is passed along from mother to daughter and son, but the father's mtDNA is not passed along except in very rare cases.  That means all people who belong to a particular haplogroup share a recent female common ancestor, more recently than they do with members of a different haplogroup. By comparing mtDNA, scientists figured out that all humans have a common ancestor that lived about 200,000 years ago in Africa.

    When some Africans left Africa 60,000 years ago, they brought with them their mtDNA to a new place. At first their mtDNA is the same as their relatives in Africa.. Later, if the mtDNA of these people who moved out of Africa have mutations, these mutations will not be found among Africans, unless some of the descendants of these people move back to Africa (that does happen sometimes but it is rather rare). So, all humans on earth originally had identical mtDNA, but as their descendants started living in different areas, their mtDNA acquire different new mutations unique to those areas.  So, suppose we find the same mutation in the DNA of, say, a European and an Arab, but that mutation is not found in other people around the world, we would group this European and Arab into the same haplogroup to show that they are more closely related to one another than to other people around the world. So, if a person in Spain has haplogroup H, and his neighbor has haplogroup K, then the person with haplogroup H is more closely related to a person in, say, England who has haplogroup H. He is less closely related to his neighbor (a fellow Spaniard) who has haplogroup K.

  • 8 months ago

    My mtDNA is U5B26

  • 8 months ago

    While natural selection has a direction, guiding evolution towards heritable adaptations to the current environment, genetic drift has no direction and is guided only by the mathematics of chance. As a result, drift acts upon the genotypic frequencies within a population without regard to their phenotypic effects. In contrast, selection favors the spread of alleles whose phenotypic effects increase survival and/or reproduction of their carriers, lowers the frequencies of alleles that cause unfavorable traits, and ignores those that are neutral.

Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.