Haplogroup B4’5 is a branch on the maternal tree of human kind. It is a daughter of the R branch.The woman who founded this line lived about 50,000 years ago (Behar et al., 2012b).
B4’5 is has the highest diversity in modern China. Thus, researchers think that the line was born in East Asia or Southeast Asia. The uncertainty is because B4’5 lineages make up much of Southeast Asian population. Besides East Asia and Southeast Asia, B4’5 is also found in the Americas.
The branch that traveled to the Americas is haplogroup B2. It is considered unusual for a Native American lineage. This is because it and its B4b parent are not part of northeastern Siberian populations or populations of Alaska’s first people.
Behar et al., 2012b placed the birth of the B4’5 lineage between 42,900 and 56,200 years ago. This means the line was born in the Middle Paleolithic. At the time, people were using stone tools.
In the Americas, several B4’5 samples from ancient DNA extracted from teeth found in northwestern North America have been found. (Malhi et al., 2004) These are likely from the B2 branch.
- Northern Plateau
- Plateau Salish (Salisham language family) 6 out of 11 samples dating to about 200 BP
- Southern Plateau
- Plateau Sahaptian (Sahaptian language family) 4 out of 8 samples dating to about 200 BP
- Wishram (Chinook language family) 17 out of 33 samples dating to about 200 BP
This timeline is an overview of the A branch’s history from the first early people to the birth of the first woman from the B4’5 lineage. (View in new tab.)
The human story began around 3 million years ago. This is when researchers have found the earliest stone tools created by our ancestors.
Most of the continents were as we know them today. Plants and animals began to look much like the ones we know today.
However, notable changes happened. The Indian subcontinent pushed further into Asia. From that, the Himalayas formed.
North and South America became connected. The new land barrier between North and South America cut off the Atlantic ocean from the Pacific ocean. This changed both the temperature of the Atlantic and the flow of currents. In turn, the weather was impacted.
Sea levels fell. This joined Africa to Eurasia and Eurasia to North America. The ice caps on both the north and south pole grew. Glaciers began to form.
Early ancient peoples such as Homo habilis, Australopithecus, and Homo erectus lived in Africa. From fossil records, we know that many different branches on the human tree existed at the same time. Unfortunately, no DNA exists. Thus, we do not know how distinctive their maternal lines were.
At times, these different groups lived side by side. At others, they were separated by great distances.
Besides stone tools, some may have learned how to use fire.
The earth continued with a cooling trend. Early humans formed small groups. They worked together to gather plants, to fish, and to scavenge for meat.
Earlier humans were replaced with Homo sapiens, Neanderthals, Denisovans, and perhaps others.
Groups began creating better stone tools. They also made wooden tools. Tools included hand axes and choppers.
Some groups made houses from wood. Others created the first rafts. The first human language developed.
Our earliest human ancestor was born in the Middle Paleolithic. She was only one of many homo sapian women alive at the time. Her maternal line was separate from that of Neanderthals and Denisovans. Yet, from these groups and from her own close relatives, hers is the only one to have living direct maternal descendants. We only know of the Neanderthal, Denisovan, and other Homo Sapiens maternal lines through ancient DNA testing.
Today, we call her mitochondrial Eve. She is represented by the RSRS sequence. It is at the root of our maternal tree.
Eve has two surviving daughter lines. One is L1’2’3’4’5’6. This is the ancestor of A. Born about 152,970 years ago in Africa, this line lived much as her ancestors did.
The next three branch points in the journey all took place in Africa. L1’2’3’4’5’6 was born 139,217 BP. L2’3’4’6 was born about 111,247 BP. L3’4’6 was born about 71,384 BP.
While these women may not have traveled far from their ancestral birth place, they were part of slow steady cultural development. From small groups, people moved to nomadic bands. These may have been at times 20 to 30 people and at others 25 to 100 people.
The earliest known ritual grave sites date to 130,000 and 100,000 years ago. This hints that early spiritual beliefs may have developed around this time.
From the daughters of L3’4’6, two lines followed each other closely. L3’4’6 gave rise to L3’4. Then, L3 quickly followed L3’4. Both L3’4 and L3 were born around 65,000 years ago. At the time, there may have been a rapid population expansion. Researchers believe that it was soon after L3’s birth that groups of people began a new wave of travel out of Africa. She did not take part. Her descendants were at the front of this wave though.
One of L3’s migrant daughter lines is N.
Born about 58,860 BP, N lived in the land between East Africa and Asia. Her descendants moved first into West Asia and then further into Central and then East Asia.
At this point in her journey, there is a long pause before another surviving daughter line is born. A daughter of N, R was born in the next phase of the human journey.
About 50,000 years ago, the rate of human development accelerated. This happened alongside the wave of migration from Africa.
From this time, researchers have found camp sites with storage area. Cave paintings became more frequent. Stone tools became specialized. These tools included projectile points, engraving tools, knife blades, and drilling and piercing tools.
People began to carve figures from bone and antler.
As they traveled out of Africa, homo sapiens meet with both Neanderthal and Denisovan groups. We know from DNA that the out of Africa travelers intermixed with both populations. We also know that Neanderthals and Denisovans intermixed with each other.
One of the distinctions of Neanderthal groups is that their craftsmanship of stone tools did not advance. The last of the Neanderthal sites dates to around 40,000 years ago.
About 26,500 marked the start of the last ice age. Glaciers expanded across much of Eurasia. This forced both wild game and people back into smaller areas.
The first woman with the markers for mtDNA haplogroup R was born during the last ice age. She would have belonged to a group that followed big game across Asia. About 19,000 years ago, the last ice age ended, and the glaciers began to retreat. This was a slow process over the next several thousand years.
Researchers have found that around 13,000 years ago, a population expansion began in Asia. This may or may not be linked to climate changes.
We know though that about 9,000 years ago the earth’s temperature reached about what it is today.
Mesolithic & Neolithic
Depending on the group, the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods followed. The Mesolithic saw rapid advances in tools and cultural change. The Neolithic saw the beginning of farming culture. This included more animal domestication.
From here, the mtDNA haplogroup B4’5 journey continued with daughter lines. If you have tested your full mtDNA genome, and B4’5 is your final branch, please contact me. I would be happy to help figure out your more recent deep ancestry with you.
Modern B4’5 branches are common throughout East Asia and the Americas. In the old world, it is most common in Southeastern Asia and to the south east of mainland East Asia. It is also present on the island of Madagascar off the Eastern coast of Africa. It has spread back to the west from Asia across Central Asia and into the Middle East.
Today, B4’5* is rare. Most people belong to a named daughter lineage. However, A as a whole is wide spread across much of Asia and in the Americas. Top population frequencies include Eskimos in Greenland (96.1% Volodko et al., 2008) and the Navajo in the United States Southwest (51.6% Malhi et al., 2003).
GenBank B4’5* Samples
Geno 2.0 B4’5* Samples
Lower Resolution B4’5 Samples
National Geographic 2.0 Information
This information comes from the 2012 update of the National Geographic Genographic Project website.
mtDNA Haplogroup B4’5 Phylotree History
Phylotree.org is the maternal (mtDNA) tree of humanity. It is maintained by Dr. Mannis Van Oven. Each build is a major update to the tree. The current build is #17.
|01||B||8281-8289d||Released 27 Aug 2008|
|02||B||8281-8289d||Released 14 Oct 2008|
|03||B||8281-8289d||Released 1 Mar 2009|
|04||B||8281-8289d||Released 10 May 2009|
|06||B4’5||8281-8289d||Released 28 Sep 2009|
|07||B4’5||8281-8289d||Released 10 Nov 2009|
|08||B4’5||8281-8289d||Released 21 Mar 2010|
|09||B4’5||8281-8289d||Released 20 Jun 2010|
|10||B4’5||8281-8289d||Released 10 Aug 2010|
|11||B4’5||8281-8289d||Released 7 Feb 2011|
|12||B4’5||8281-8289d||Released 20 Jul 2011|
|13||B4’5||8281-8289d||Released 28 Dec 2011; Last Build to use the rCRS|
|14||B4’5||8281-8289d||Released 5 Apr 2012; First version to use the RSRS|
|15||B4’5||8281-8289d||Released 30 Sep 2012|
|16||B||8281-8289d||Released 19 Feb 2014|
|17||B4’5||8281-8289d||Released 18 Feb 2016|
mtDNA Haplogroup B4’5 Data Sources
GenBank is a database of genetic sequence data. It is run by the United States National Institute of Health. It serves as the main repository for mtDNA full sequence profiles. Samples come both from published academic literature and donations from genetic genealogy community members. In addition to GenBank samples, listings below may include other samples published but not submitted to GenBank such as those from the HapMap project.
Note: GenBank results currently use Phylotree build 16. I am working on changing results over to build 17.
|Hg ID||Origin||Publication||Hg BLD16||Hg BLD17||Hg YFull||Missing Variants||Additional Variants|
Sources & Resources
- Ian Logan’s mtDNA Pages
- Ian Logan’s Instructions for mtGenome Genbank Donation
- James Lick’s mtDNA Utility
- The FTDNA Haplogroup Project for Haplogroup B
- The Wikipedia Article for Haplogroup B
The following members of the community offer paid consulting for those seeking help with mtDNA results. Inclusion on this list is not a recommendation or endorsement of any service.
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