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complimentary SNP test?

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  • complimentary SNP test?

    I went to check the status of my sample (its been nearly 2 months since they recieved it) and I was greeted by this charming message;

    Your sample needs additional testing. In some cases, the standard testing procedures do not permit the accurate determination of a haplogroup, so we perform additional tests. This test is referred to as a SNP test. This is not uncommon, but will delay the posting of your results by two to three weeks. You do not need to take any action at this time.

    If we find that there is a problem at any point during the processing of your sample, you will receive an updated message when you log in to check your status.
    At first I was devastated, but upon further research I've realized that I may have struck it lucky with this SNP test. Could anyone explain if this test will prove better quality results than I would have received otherwise?

  • #2
    I would count you as lucky, getting an SNP test is actually a bonus because it confirms the haplogroup of your haplotype.

    When you are assigned a haplogroup from just STR testing it is based on statisitcs. I think the haplotypes that require additional testing are the most interesting because they bring new information that can help add resolution to the current picture we have.

    There has been lots of talk about over-representation of certain haplogroups in the current databases and how these skew the picture.

    So in conclusion your SNP test is a bonus to the rest of us as well!


    • #3
      Are haplogroups that require additional (SNP) testing necessarily more rare or less well understood than haplogroups that can be determined confidentally using STR statistical methods? Or are certain haplogroups - even common ones - just inherently more difficult to determine? National Geographic also presented me with this cryptic, endearing message, after I had waited for more than two months for a response... ...Something... ...Anything. As a newbie to genetic testing of any kind, the long wait from NatGeo initially led me to think that something was dreadfully WRONG with my DNA, and the NatGeo "Problem Encountered" message seemed to confirm my suspicion until I came upon this thread.


      • #4
        Once again--if anyone is paying attention--I think it is deplorable that the Genographic site has absolutely no contact information or resource for answering such questions. If they cannot handle the volume of participants they should not be doing this.

        I think the answer to your question is that some haplogroups are indeed harder to determine from STR information than others. Even the common ones can sometimes be difficult. STR is much more useful for proving or disproving family relationships than for determining deep ancestry, for which SNP or the combination of the two is much more useful. FTDNA will keep testing until they get an answer, if you order a SNP test.

        Personally I would love to know why I paid Genographic $15 each to submit my Y DNA and mtDNA results, that were already completed by FTDNA, and needed only to be typed into their database--only to have my Y page up in three days, and my mtDNA listed as "in the laboratory" 3 weeks later. But of course there is no one I can ask.


        • #5
          The "Problem Encountered" message could mean a lot of things including a screwup at the lab! It certainly does NOT mean there is something wrong with your DNA. You can be sure of that.

          If DNA was too messed up to be analyzed you would not be breathing. The scientists are not looking for disease and if they were these tests would be unlikely to expose them.

          As has been said a few times before, haplogroup assignment base on STRs is statistical. The true tsest is with SNPs. There is a good tool on the web by Whit Athey.( for looking at the best fit of STRs to haplogroups.


          • #6
            SNP testing and STR testing

            I too got the same message from the Genographic Project about SNP testing. I was wondering if anyone knows: if I get better quality results from the SNP testing, would that make extra STR testing of more markers than the 12 that the Genographic Project normally do redundant?


            • #7
              It depends on what you are looking for. From an anthropological perspective, the SNP test will tell you a lot more (than y-strs) about where your patriline fits into the human family. From a genealogical perspective (ie, if you are actually hoping to locate distant cousins who share a common patrilineal ancestor in the last few hundred years), the added markers will help you immensely.

              Timothy Peterman


              • #8
                I too had the same message. After about six weeks, I finally got my results. I was put in Haplogroup K, which is really a supragroup. So, even with all the extra testing and delays, I still don't have much information. Needless to say, I am disappointed at the Genographic project.


                • #9
                  I also got that message. Two weeks later I was informed I was in haplogroup R1a (M17).


                  • #10
                    SNP determined my haplogroup

                    In my case the Y-DNA 37 markers provided inconclusive results, therefore I had to order the SNP test. After that I was assigned to the R1b haplogroup. So in my case it worked well.