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Haplogroup R and R1a/R1b

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  • Haplogroup R and R1a/R1b

    I have 2 questions. I participated in the Genographic project and I belong to Haplogroup R (genetic marker M173). The results page says that if the STR analysis was inconclusive, an SNP test was also performed.

    I later accepted to join the FTDNA database with the same sample. On FTDNA, I get the following:
    "your matches suggest that you belong to Haplogroup R. You may order a SNP test to confirm our prediction. The cost to confirm your Haplogroup is $65. If we are wrong in our prediction, we will keep testing your Y-DNA at no additional charge until we have your Haplogroup confirmed."

    Should I rely on the Genographic test that says Haplogoup R, or is it worth ordering the SNP test from FTDNA?

    The larger question is the following:

    Haplogroup R branches into R1b (mainly present in Western Europe) and R1a (mainly present in Eastern Europe and India). Is there a reason why I came out as "R" and not as one of the 2 branches? Is it because the tests were inconclusive or because by being "R" I am de facto connected to both R1b and R1a?

    Thank you.

  • #2
    There are some undifferentiated members of the R haplogroup out there -at least in theory. You might belong to this group. This means that you have the marker that defines R, but lack the additional markers that define R1 or R2, or anadditional subclades.

    From what I have seem so far, I consider the results from Family Tree DNA to be far more reliable than the Genographic Project.

    Timothy Peterman

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    • #3
      I'm confused. What is Marker M173? Is that not an SNP? I don't recognize it as one of the STR's.

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      • #4
        At the YCC website and in the August volume of Nature, it gives a breakdown of all the sub-clades of the 'R' Haplogroup, of which there are many. I assume that Genographic only carried out the analysis one SNP step to M173? And does ftDNA analyze all the SNP's as listed on the chart of 'R's', when doing an SNP analysis? Otherwise, why would they suggest this step when Genographic has already done it?

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        • #5
          The Genographic project does not test in as great detail as FTDNA. For example, my mtDNA is haplogroup N1b, as determined by FTDNA. When uploaded to Genographic, they use only part of the data, and list me as N1. I do not know if they are doing testing for R subclades--I would think that R1a and R1b would be shown, as these are pretty large groups with many known subclades themselves. An "undifferentiated" R is really what you might be--there are some out there, that are not part of any as-yet defined R subclade and have the M173 SNP marker shared by all R's, but none of those younger SNP mutations used to define the R subclades.

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          • #6
            One thing I find strange is that the Genographic project associates the marker M173 with Haplogroup R. M173 is actually the marker of R1, and is present in R1a and R1b, but not in undifferentiated R. The marker that defines R is M207. Why are they associating M173 with R instead of R1 on the Genographic website? My result mentioned that I have marker M173 and that I belong to Haplogroup R. Shouldn't it say that I belong to Haplogroup R1?

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            • #7
              I think that the philosophy seems to be that Genographic participants are not interested in the same degree of detail as FTDNA participants generally are. Therefore, people signing up through Genographic are getting less detailed tests. When the results done by FTDNA are posted to Genographic, they use the Genographic level of detail. I have noticed some evolution of the Genographic site and perhaps this will change.

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              • #8
                I believe that the Genographic project is not testing SNP markers for the participants on the general population side. They estimate the haplogroup from 12 marker STR testing. Twelve markers does not provide a very high level of haplogroup sub-clade resolution.

                Additionally I believe they are SNP testing so-called indigenous populations around the world but these participants are selected.

                So the answer to quesion 1 is get the testing done with FTDNA if you are interested in knowing what deep ancestry you have. The genographic project will not provide as much detail for the reasons above.

                The answer to question 2 is related to the first, the resolution and type of testing cannot provide the level of resolution to differentiate your results.

                It is like the the genographic project is in two parts, one the scientific study of indigenous populations and refining the population movements through history. The second part consisting of Y-STR and basic MTDNA testing appears to be a fund-raising effort, or possibly to provide a backdrop for the results of part 1.

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                • #9
                  I may be wrong!

                  I saw another post by "sterlingnotes" that said SNP testing is done when you submit a sample. Unfortunatley the website is vague about the testing, I rechecked the genographic website FAQ and it says

                  "Males: Y-DNA test. This test helps us to identify deep ancestral geographic origins on the direct paternal line."

                  Does that mean that when you upload your FTDNA data to the project, somebody goes back to the freezer to SNP test your sample?

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                  • #10
                    M173, M343 ?

                    I thought those "M",s were "genetic markers" indicating the end of the migratory journeys of the various haplogroup ancestors, as shown on the Genographic migration routes map.
                    Mine, M343, shows it ending in northwest Spain (Iberia?).
                    Other "M",s are shown along the route out of Africa.

                    Anyone have better explanation for those "M",s?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tray
                      I thought those "M",s were "genetic markers" indicating the end of the migratory journeys of the various haplogroup ancestors, as shown on the Genographic migration routes map.
                      Mine, M343, shows it ending in northwest Spain (Iberia?).
                      Other "M",s are shown along the route out of Africa.

                      Anyone have better explanation for those "M",s?
                      Mutation...

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                      • #12
                        My Uncle took the SNP test for $65 for haplogroup designation after we were told that the results shown after his 25 marker test were based on 12 markers for the ESTIMATED haplogroup. After they did the $65 additional test we received the info that his group is R1b absolutely 100% without any doubt. If you look at this group on the maps you can see subgroups showing and my surname coordinator indicates that the FTDNA surname coordinators are strongly pushing that these subgroups be defined in testing in the future. So instead of a result saying R1b it would be broken down further into a more defined subgroup.

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                        • #13
                          Not the only difference

                          Originally posted by dentate
                          The Genographic project does not test in as great detail as FTDNA. For example, my mtDNA is haplogroup N1b, as determined by FTDNA. When uploaded to Genographic, they use only part of the data, and list me as N1. I do not know if they are doing testing for R subclades--I would think that R1a and R1b would be shown, as these are pretty large groups with many known subclades themselves. An "undifferentiated" R is really what you might be--there are some out there, that are not part of any as-yet defined R subclade and have the M173 SNP marker shared by all R's, but none of those younger SNP mutations used to define the R subclades.
                          That is not the only difference between the Genographic Project and FTDNA.
                          On my results from the Genographic Project, DYS389-2 has the number 15; FTDNA "translated" this into 28. What gives?

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                          • #14
                            FTDNA's 389-2 is the sum of Genographic's 389-1 and 389-2, because 389-2 is actually part of 389-1. Just a different labeling convention.

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