This subgroup is characterized by having the P39 mutation within C2.
So far this mutation has been found only among Native Americans of Canada and the United States.
C2 has been found among native men of the Venezuela-Colombia border area in South America, but
all these men are negative for the P39 subgroup.
The most specific information on the distribution of C3b-P39 in a published study can be found in
American Y Chromosomes into the Americas," by Stephen L. Zegura, Tatiana M. Karafet, Lev
A. Zhivotovsky,. and Michael F. Hammer." This was published in Molecular Biology and
Evolution, vol 21(1), pp 164-75, published in 2004. Figure 4 has the most specific information on P39.
The authors found the following P39 men among the sampled men
Tanana of Alaska, 5 of 12
Cheyenne, 7 of 44
Sioux, 5 of 44
Apache, 14 of 96
Navajo, 1 of 78
But no C at all was found among Inuits, other Southwest Indians, Pima, Pueblo, Nixtec, Zapotec,
Mixe, Maya, Ngobe, Kuna, Waunaan and Emberra or among the Wayu of South America. Many
of the samples were originally reported in a study by Karafet and others in the American Journal
of Human Genetics in 1999, but a test for P39 was not then available. Figure 1 in the Karafet study
is helpful because it shows where the samples were taken.
In the Haplogroup C project, samples are available from men listing origins in eastern Canada, with
the exception of one man with Virginia ancestry. This is the first evidence of P39 in Canada and
Virginia. The Indians of western Canada have not been sampled for this.
With (a) no P39 samples outside North America and (b) men in South America who are Cs but
lack P39, this raises the possibility that P39 arose within an ancestor living in North America.
Added to the complications, a comparison of our eastern Canadian marker values to those of
the C2 not P39 in South America, a number of differences are noted, and this holds open the
possibility they could be descendants of entirely different C2 ancestors in Asia and thus descended
from two different C2 migrations to the Americas. It should be noted also in the Zegura article
that among haplogroup C men in the figure 4 phylogenetic diagram, the C3b men do not cluster
with the South American C2 not P39 men. But this was based only on 10 STR markers, and
the diagram would not be as convincing as one with more markers.
Marker E. Canadian South American
C2 C2 not P39
DYS 19 15 15
DYS389 13,29 12,27
DYS390 23 24
DYS391 9 9
DYS392 11 11
DYS393 12 12
DYS385 15,16 12,13
DYS438 10 10
DYS439 11 12
DYS437 14 14
DYS448 21 21
DYS456 16 15
DYS458 18 17
The South American data are from a study by Geppert and others using C2 (not P39 subgroups)
samples from the Ecuadorian rain forest, and the Canadian data are from the Haplogroup C Project.