Distribution of the Four Founding Lineage Haplotypes in Native Americans Suggests a Single Wave of Migration for the New World

Am J Phys Anthropol. 1995 Dec;98(4):411-30. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.1330980404.


The distribution of the four founding lineage haplogroups in Native Americans from North, Central, and South America shows a north to south increase in the frequency of lineage B and a North to South decrease in the frequency of lineage A. All four founding lineage haplogroups were detected in North, Central, and South America, and in Greenberg et al.'s ([1986] Curr. Anthropol. 27:477-497) three major linguistic groups (Amerind, NaDene, and Eskaleut), with all four haplogroups often found within a single population. Lineage A was the most common lineage in North America, regardless of language group. This overall distribution is most parsimonious with a single wave of migration into the New World which included multiple variants of all four founding lineage types. Torroni et al.'s ([1993a] Am. J. Hum. Genet. 53:563-590) report that lineage B has a more recent divergence time than the other three lineages can best be explained by multiple variants of lineages A, C, and D, and fewer variants of lineage B entering the New World. Alternatively, there could have been multiple waves of migration from a single parent population in Asia/Siberia which repeatedly reintroduced the same lineages to the New World.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Americas / ethnology
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Emigration and Immigration*
  • Female
  • Gene Deletion
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genetics, Population
  • Haplotypes*
  • Humans
  • Indians, Central American / genetics*
  • Indians, North American / genetics*
  • Indians, South American / genetics*
  • Male


  • DNA, Mitochondrial