This page contains some information about Y-haplogroup L that I have gathered from various sources.

Y-haplogroup L is common (at frequencies around 15%) in India (in particular the South) and in Pakistan. It appears at low frequencies (2-4%) also in the Northern part of the Middle East (Iran, Turkey, Armenia, Kurdistan, Lebanon, but much less among Arabs) and perhaps in Central Asia (Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, though these regions have not been well tested). A couple of papers, as well as a number of personal tests, have shown the presence of haplogroup L in the Mediterranean, although at very low frequencies (1% or less). It is extremely rare in Northern Europe and America, but it does pop up now and then north of the Mediterranean (e.g. Switzerland and Germany).

The latest nomenclature and SNPs related to the group can be found on Isogg, as well as on the Y-Haplogroup L Project at FTDNA. Most members of the L haplogroup belong to the first group, L1, itself divided into L1a (mostly India and Pakistan), and L1b (Middle Eastern, Central Asia, Europe). The few people who do not belong to L1 most likely belong to another group, L2. The discovery of the structure of the L tree is relatively recent. The change in nomenclature can generate a lot of confusion and make it hard to identify the correct SNP, especially when reading older papers.

Sengupta et al. (see below) was perhaps the first study that tried to characterize the structure of the haplogroup. It isolated the three largest subgroups of haplogroup L, M76-M27, M317 and M357, and named them L1, L2, and L3. In the latest tree, these correspond to L1a1, L1b, and L1a2. Later, personal tests identified a few people who did not belong to any of these subgroups; some of them were found to belong to a different subgroup, characterized by a new SNP L595, now defining the L2 subgroup.

M76 (current L1a1, former L1) is the most common subgroup in India, while M76 and M357 (current L1a2, former L3) have approximately equal weight in Pakistan. M317 (current L1b, former L2) is rare in the Indian subcontinent. Iran seems to have all three major subgroups, while Turkey appears primarily M357. Other papers have found additional markers. For instance, L1b can be divided into two subgroups, M247 and M349. The people who do not belong to L1 have not been studied in academic papers, but only in personal genetic tests. Their ancestry is European, but it is possible that this group is present in the Middle East or Caucasus, where few people have tested.

Unfortunately, few papers (except that of Sengupta on India) have examined the origin and spread of the haplogroup.

My result is a little surprising because my family (traced back at least to the XV century) is from the area of of Massa, in Northern Tuscany, and the majority of Northern and Central Italians belong to haplogroup R1b (and if not to E3b and J2). But the town is on the coast, and was occupied by many invaders over time, including Byzantines (that is, from the Eastern Mediterranean).

Some links about Y haplogroups in general:

About haplogroup L (many papers require a subscription, but some are also available at ftdna or at historicalgenetics), the main current references are: Other references about haplogroup L:

I'd like to know more about both haplogroups. Do you belong to haplogroup L as well? Do you have any information about it? I'd be happy to share. Send me an email to:

cacio 'at' cagetti dot com
(type in the address with the @ in your mail program)

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