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  • interest question

    Hello. I am not interested in getting any matches nor in any surname projects. I just want to know my Y-DNA and mtDNA haplogroups. So, is the Y-DNA12 a good option for me? I mean, will it pinpoint my haplogroup AS accurately as the Y-DNA37 would?

    What about the mtDNA test: does it pinpoint my mtDNA haplogroup AS accurately as the mtDNAPlus?

    And what is the difference between the mtDNA and mtDNAPlus?

  • #2
    Recommended tests for Haplogroup Testing

    Layman, if you are just interested in getting your patrilineal haplogroup known and not the DNA codes for genealogical comparisons, you need not go through what is known as the standard, so-many-markers Y-Chromosome STR (Standard Tandem Repeat) test. Instead, get the Y-SNP (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism) test which is meant ONLY for the purpose of determining the male haplogroup along with its sub-groups. Contrary to the general belief that one requires an STR test mandatorily, you can simply go for the Y-SNP and not waste your money on anything else. 'DNA Heritage' is the only lab that tests for Y-SNP alone for $99.00. Click this URL for ordering it:

    As for determining your matrilineal haplogroup, you need to have the mtDNA test done. This has two parts: the HVR-1 (Hyper Variable Region-1) as well as the HVR-2 test. The HVR-1 may or may not be able to resolve the haplogroup (eg 'J') to a sub-group level (eg 'J2b2'), so you would need a HVR-2 test as well. The combined test is variously called as mtDNAPlus or a High Resolution mtDNA test. I would recommend both HVR-1 & HVR-2 tests. In this case you will get more than what you need, ie your DNA type codes (deviation from the standard reference) as well as your haplogroup/sub-haplogroup. This test is offered by many labs, but if you are getting the Y-SNP done from 'DNA Heritage' might as well get the mtDNA (HVR-1&2) done from them as well ($218.00). Once you get their sample kit, it would have an option window on the envelope asking if you want to test for the matriline 'mtDNA test' as well. (They do not separately advertise for a matriline test, nor does the website mention it).

    I repeat that Y-SNP alone is only offered by 'DNA Heriatge'; that's why I am recommending it, not coz it's owned by my aunt ;-)



    • #3
      Actually does this too, so you can comparison shop there if you want.


      • #4
        Originally posted by dentate
        Actually does this too, so you can comparison shop there if you want.

        some people out there are selling Allele values that you could be a chimp and match.


        • #5
          Thanks for the answer.
          So what is it exactly - in the Y-DNA12 package do they test all 37 (those are all there are, aren't they?) so they can accurately tell my haplogroup and then only tell me 12? Does the accuracy of the haplogroup-telling (don't want to call it prediction, but should I?) depend on the number of markers analyzed or not?

          Another thing:

          In this thread
          Bill Hurst says:
          "For Y-DNA there is no "percentage" involved. Your Y-DNA results are 100% your Y-DNA, not affected by any of your other ancestors.

          You can also test your mtDNA, your father's mtDNA, etc. Again, your mtDNA is 100% your mtDNA."

          But then here (
          I read "In some cases, your outside lines may not be the dominant ones in your genetic makeup."

          Don't these two contradict each other, or am I missing something here?

          So, can someone clear this up for me, clarifying these questions?:
          1) So my Y-DNA is the only one I have; I have no other "Y-DNA" on any other "parts" of the DNA "strand"? Same thing with mtDNA?
          2) So to what degree do my Y-DNA and mtDNA represent/define me?

          Oh, and thanks for answering that HVR thing. It would be my next question. But does the Y-DNA also have this HVR1, HVR2 thing or does only mtDNA have this? Also, do the "refine" tests only serve hose people looking for matches, or does it suit my needs too?


          • #6
            layman, humans differ on 3 million genes approximately. Your y dna test covers only a small portion of that number, specifically the nonrecombining portion of the y chromosome, the only portion of the genome that unambiguously identifies your paternal line. Conversely the remainder of your genetic inheritance is not identified. As mentioned above, only an SNP test will yield direct information on your paternal line. The other type of test, an STR test (12,25, or 37 markers) will yield only probalistic information. The mtdna tests also provides direct information on the maternal line. Both the SNP and mtdna tests provide information on single lines not combinations of inheritance, your ydna line is a single dna line.

            What about the rest of your genetic inheritance. The remaining information is contained on the recombined portion of your sex chromosomes and on your autosomes (non-sexual chomosomes) which also recombine. Recombining means that one cannot distinguish between the contributions of the paternal line and the contributions of the maternal line. There are some commercial tests for autosomes which give relative contributions from different areas of the globe but not from specfic countries. There is some question as to the reliability and validity of such tests. Hope this helps.
            Last edited by josh w.; 14 November 2005, 02:32 PM.


            • #7
              So does this mean the answer to my 1 questio is no?
              I'm still confused. Could anyone please answer my questions more directly?


              • #8
                A 12-marker Y-test is usually sufficient for telling you which haplogroup you belong to. The haplogroup will be estimated based on those results, but can be confirmed for an additional $65 SNP test.

                If you are only interested in haplogroups, just get the 12-marker test. The full 37 (among the many more markers that can be tested) will not give you any more certainty about your haplogroup.

                Hope this helps


                • #9
                  As for the question about Y-DNA and mtDNA as identifying markers, you only have one Y-DNA haplogroup. It tells you the deep ancestry of your father's father's father's father etc. The same is true for mtDNA, which tells you the deep ancestry of your mother's mother's mother's mother etc.

                  Neither of these tests will tell you what is "in between" those lines in your family tree. So, it won't tell you about your paternal grandmother's line or your maternal grandfather's line. Those lines might be something totally different.


                  • #10
                    Thank you very much, Jason. It really helped.

                    Originally posted by Jason
                    Neither of these tests will tell you what is "in between" those lines in your family tree. So, it won't tell you about your paternal grandmother's line or your maternal grandfather's line. Those lines might be something totally different.
                    But since we only have one Y-DNA haplogroup and one mtDNA haplogroup as you said, can't we say that those in-between lines don't matter? If our Y-dna is defined only by one line, and our mtDNA is also defined by only one line, what do the in-between lines count for?


                    • #11
                      All your remaining ancestry is reflected in your autosomes and the recombining parts of your sex chromosomes. These chromosomes contain over 99% of your genes. The problem is that there is no way to tell if any of these genes come from one of your paternal lines or one of your maternal lines. The Ydna and mtdna tests thus identify a specific line of descent but only cover two out of the multitude of your ancestors.
                      An autosomal test will give you some general information about the geographical path of these ancestral lines.
                      Last edited by josh w.; 15 November 2005, 10:02 PM.


                      • #12
                        Wisdom from the mouth of babes!


                        • #13
                          Sorry! That comment became attached to the wrong message.


                          • #14
                            Whew. For a moment I thought you were describing Josh W. as a "babe."


                            • #15
                              So autosomal DNA carries a lot more weight than Y-DNA and mtDNA, is that it?
                              Thus being true that the outside lines may not be the dominant ones in someone's genetic makeup.

                              Well, since Y-DNA and mtDNA tell so little, and autosomal tests are said to be inaccurate, I think there's nothing left for me to do but to wait for the autosomal to get more precise.