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Understanding mtDNA result with no matches

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  • Understanding mtDNA result with no matches

    I've read other threads where people say they have few or no matches on mtDNA - fine, but what does it really mean?

    I did a mtDNA full sequence and have zero matches on all three levels. Does it mean that nobody on the same maternal linage as me over the last thousand years or so did a mtDNA test?

  • #2
    Originally posted by jonr View Post
    I've read other threads where people say they have few or no matches on mtDNA - fine, but what does it really mean?

    I did a mtDNA full sequence and have zero matches on all three levels. Does it mean that nobody on the same maternal linage as me over the last thousand years or so did a mtDNA test?
    I'm exactly the same and would love to know the answer!

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    • #3
      Generally speaking, yes, your assumption is correct...unless you have several heteroplasmies (letters other than C, T, G, and A) in your results. Otherwise, if you have no matches at any level, then no one else in your specific mtDNA branch has tested at FTDNA. It would indicate that you and your nearest match have a minimum of four mutational differences between you.

      You might wish to ask your mtDNA project administrator whether it would be worthwhile to submit your sequence (anonymously) to GenBank. (GenBank is a repository of genetic data made available for research.) For development of your haplogroup, it is usually a good idea. That way, researchers who develop the mtDNA tree can take your sequence into consideration.

      -- Martha Hicks

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      • #4
        P.S. Adding to my prior post: Conversely, it is possible that others in your mtDNA line have been tested but have heteroplasmies that prevent them from matching you. Additionally, someone who has only tested at the HVR1- or HVR2-level in your mtDNA line, might have a relatively recent mutation that would preclude them from being a match. Regardless, those with full-sequence testing, but no matches at any level have rare sequences.

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        • #5
          Some people who have no matches in the FTDNA data base might have closer matches in GenBank from test results submitted from research studies. If you have a volunteer project administrator who has also compiled data on the GenBank samples, they can compare your results to those samples and look for closer matches. If the project administrator is not including GenBank samples, you can check the records that Ian Logan maintains on GenBank samples. Ian is a great resource for the mtDNA community, he provides updates whenever new samples are published in GenBank.

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          • #6
            The admin in my mtDNA haplogroup project informed me that there are two "close" matches at GenBank, we probably shared a common ancestor 2-3000 years back.. ;-)

            Now that mtDNA haven't helped at all in my genealogy, it would feel good to at least help science if possible. Is it safe to submit my mtDNA full sequence result to public databases such as GenBank, mitosearch and others?

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