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M* haplogroup technical questions

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  • M* haplogroup technical questions

    Family Tree DNA's mtDNA HVR-1 analysis puts me in the M* haplogroup. In particular, the CRS-relative mutations reported (-16000) are 223T, 319A, 519C. While there are no matches reported at the ftDNA site, there are several entries with 1-step mutation(-1 mutational difference) reported at mitosearch.org.

    Interestingly however all of these entries happen to belong to different haplogroups such as H, HV. For example, there is an entry for HVR1 mutations 223T, 519C reported as belong to the H haplogroup. Assuming mitosearch data can be trusted, how can this be explained ? Why can't it be assumed that my particular M* haplotype is a branch (319A) from the HV haplotype from mitosearch, contrary to what a "standard" mtDNA phylogenetic tree might suggest ?

  • #2
    Hi nenechitpavan,

    I have a relative who was just assigned to the mtdna haplogroup M* and I'm having a hard time finding info on this haplogroup as well. She's Mexican Indian so it was a huge surprise to find out that she belongs to this haplogroup. What is your ethnic background? Do you know what country and city your female line is from? I hope you don’t mind my asking.

    The thing I’m confused about is the * (asterisk) after the M. Are M* and just plain M the same? By the way, I found an interesting map on the National Geographic human genographic website. Here’s the link:
    https://www3.nationalgeographic.com/...hic/atlas.html

    (click on genetic markers at the bottom and find M*)

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    • #3
      M* seems to stand for "Miscellaneous"

      Family Tree DNA has classified me (mutations at 111, 223, 235, 362) as an M*. There are about 8 of us M*'s with that exact same motif and either clear-cut or presumed eastern European Jewish ancestry. But I notice that the Family Tree DNA search database says one person with that motif has been classified as an H6a, which seems impossible, but who knows.

      Anyhow, I think most mtDNA haplogroups fit within 3 giant super groups:

      L - mostly Africans.

      M - mostly Asians, but some Africans and maybe some Middle Easterners.

      N - mostly Europeans

      If Family Tree DNA says that you're M*, then you seem to fit within the M super group (possibly because Family Tree DNA did some extra SNP tests that they didn't tell us about and didn't charge us for) but you don't have a motif (pattern of SNPs) that would let Family Tree DNA put you in one of the common haplogroups within the M super groups.

      In other words, you belong in the M super group, but you don't fit easily within the A,B, C, D or M haplogroups within the M super group. (Note: "M" can refer to the mama super group, but it also could refer to a daughter group inside the super group.)

      But it could be that Family Tree DNA hasn't done extra SNP testing to see whether we really belong in the M super group and is just guessing.

      Personally, I think Family Tree DNA should have researchers do extra testing on all of the Jewish M mtDNA samples, even if we're too cheap or broke to pay for the testing ourselves, because it's possible that we're the Khazars, descendants of various groups of Silk Road Jews (e.g., medieval Mongolians), or even that we have some Central Asian type carried by the original matriarchs.

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