Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) are cells with self-renewing multilineage differentiation potential. Although engraftment in xenogeneic recipients can be used to measure human HSC, these assays do not allow assessment of individual progenitors. We developed an in vitro assay that allows the identification of a single human bone marrow progenitor closely related to HSC, which we termed "Myeloid-Lymphoid Initiating Cell," or ML-IC, because it is capable of generating multiple secondary progenitors that can reinitiate long-term myeloid and lymphoid hematopoiesis in vitro. The assay is done in contact with murine AFT024 fetal liver stromal cells and with Flt3-Ligand, stem cell factor, and interleukin-7. In this assay, 0.2% to 1.7% of Lin -/34(+)/DRdim cells could generate 1 to 3 long-term culture initiating cells (LTC-IC) as well as 1 to 4 NK-IC after 4 to 6 weeks. In addition, this assay measures contribution of net-progenitor conservation and net-progenitor proliferation over time, providing insight in the fate of individual LTC-IC and NK-IC. This assay will prove useful to enumerate the number of very primitive human progenitors with multilineage differentiation potential, as well as to evaluate future ex vivo culture conditions.