To better understand the evolution of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, subspecies were tested for large sequence polymorphisms. Samples with greater numbers of deletions, without exception, were missing all the same regions that were deleted from samples with lesser numbers of deletions. Principal genetic groups based on single-nucleotide polymorphisms were restricted to one of the deletion-based groups, and isolates that shared genotypes based on molecular epidemiological markers were assigned almost exclusively to the same deletion type. The data provide compelling evidence that human tuberculosis did not originate from the present-day bovine form. Genomic deletions present themselves as an attractive modality to study the evolution of the M. tuberculosis complex.