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ID 15610

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) human family tree

An interactive illustration of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) human family tree, showing the two major mtDNA lineages (African populations and African/non-African populations). In 1987, a Californian research team used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) to construct a human family tree. Their tree had two distinct branches: one contained only African mtDNA types; and the second was a mixture of all population types. The branch with African mtDNA types was closest to the tree root. Using this data, the team traced the lineage of modern humans back to a common ancestor who lived in Africa about 200,000 years ago. (DNAi location: Applications > Human Origins > Gene genealogy > Tracing ancestries > Tracing our maternal lineage)
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Creative Commons License This work by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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