The mtDNA Haplogroup K Project is close to celebrating three major milestones. First, on January 9, 2010, our Project was four years old. Second, we have close to 1500 members, keeping us the second largest mtDNA haplogroup project at Family Tree DNA. Third, we are close to having 500 members to have ordered the full-sequence mtDNA test (FGS or Mega). Let’s look at these statistics and others in more detail.

Our Project was founded on January 9, 2006, soon after FTDNA allowed haplogroup and geographical projects. Now almost every mtDNA haplogroup has its own project.

As of January 9, we had 1494 members. That’s slightly more than one new member on average every day of our existence. 1458 of the members tested with FTDNA; 36 with other companies. 549 members began their testing with the Genographic Project, 33 with FTDNA’s European subsidiary iGENEA, and one with FTDNA affiliate AfricanDNA.

At present, two members’ results are not showing up on our website because they have managed to uncheck certain boxes on their personal pages; they have been notified. Two members are listed as being in haplogroup R and one in haplogroup U. Those issues are caused by back mutations in defining mutations and the results will eventually be corrected back to K. Also, the one K2 is really a K2a. Two members are shown in the U8b’K Subgroup. One has been designated as such by FTDNA after originally being a K; the other is officially listed as being a K pending FGS results. Both probably will be in U8b eventually, but that will require a redrawing of the U8 tree. More on this below.

We have 371 members who have received full-sequence (FGS or Mega) results plus 123 FGS orders in progress for a total of 494. 396 of the FGS members reside in the USA, but showing the international character of our membership, the other 98 reside in 25 other countries.

Of the 438 FGS results from FTDNA submitted to the federal GenBank database as of January 11, 2010, eighty were from haplogroup K customers and 77 of those are from the K Project. Seven of 14 new submissions just published in 2010 are in K; all are from the K Project. The complete sequences may be found on Ron Scott’s website. Many of the entries on GenBank have been used by the PhyloTree and in other scientific papers.

Although the promised revision of the K phylogenetic tree has been delayed, research is continuing. New FGS results, mainly from the October discount period, will certainly add several new and deeper subclades to the K tree.

The Google map on our Project website now shows maternal origin location pins for 693 members. By selecting a Subgroup from the drop-down menu, a very good indication of the maternal origin of any particular subclade may be obtained.

On July 15, 2009, I started a Haplogroup U8 Project, which now has 28 members. As of now, FTDNA doesn’t designate anyone as a U8 until they have FGS results. Haplogroup K is descended from U8 and is a sister clade of U8b. The difficulty in accurately placing some sequences on the boundary between U8 and K is why there are members of both projects designated as U8b’K. This is an interesting area of research.

K Project members can benefit themselves and the Project by performing one or more of the following items: Upgrade results with the mtDNARefine or FGS (Mega) tests. Add maternal origin pin to Google map. Upload results to MitoSearch. Submit FGS results to GenBank. Reply to FGS notification with “Agree” so results can be used to revise the K tree or possibly other scientific projects. Make sure all K Project boxes are checked on your personal page under User Preferences so HVR results show up on the Project website and the Administrator may explain your FGS results when they arrive. Contact your matches and recruit them to the K Project.

Thanks for your outstanding performance and cooperation these past four years. As always, let me know if you have any questions.

©William R. Hurst

Administrator, mtDNA Haplogroup K Project