Most human breast cancers have already diversified genomically when they first become clinically evident, by which time extensive heterogeneous histopathologies, transcriptomes and growth patterns are also apparent. Accordingly, important initial events and the cellular context in which they occur have been difficult to characterize. Using DNA barcoding, we now demonstrate the high efficiency with which both purified basal and luminal cells isolated directly from normal adult human mammary tissue can be rapidly transformed by a single oncogene (KRASG12D) resulting in the production within 8 weeks in vivo of serially transplantable, polyclonal, invasive ductal carcinomas that are phenotypically heterogeneous and transcriptionally distinct from the initial cells transduced. Barcoding also revealed a consistent dramatic change in the clonal content of passaged tumours. This system thus provides a powerful new platform for examining early events in the genesis, evolution and treatment response of malignant human mammary cells generated using defined mutations.