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DNA Corner

'MITOCHONDRIAL DNA'
- FOR BEGINNERS

By
Ian Logan
www.ianlogan.co.uk

Every cell in the body has DNA in
its chromosomes, and half of this DNA you inherit from the father, and half from your mother.

But .. in addition .. every cell contains little rings of DNA in the mitochondria - the 'mitochondrial DNA' or 'mtDNA'. And, what makes the mtDNA special is that it is inherited just from your mother.

It is now known that human mtDNA has about 16,569 bases. But the bases of the mtDNA can, and do, mutate over the centuries and the differences in the bases in the mtDNA between one person and another shows how closely, or
distantly, they are related.

The study of human mtDNA has now shown that the World's population can be split into the 3 groups - European, Asian, and African, with the European and Asian groups separating from the African group maybe 80,000
years ago. And, the 'Out of Africa'
theory suggests that all of
present mankind is descended from just one woman who lived in Africa about 200,000 years ago.

There are many diagrams that show how the population of the World has spread out over the millenia.

A simple diagram can be found at:
http://www.mitomap.org/simple-
tree-mitomap2009.pdf


and a very complicated one at:
http://www.phylotree.org/

A simple test of amount 400 of the
bases of your mtDNA can now be
done very easily; and this will tell
you to which major group you
belong.

But an introductory tests will do
little more that whet your appetite
to learn more and a
FULL GENOME SEQUENCING (FGS)
when all 16,569 bases are sequenced gives all the answers. This test costs around $450.

A further advantage to having this test means you can add your
personal sequence to the GENBANK database at the 'National Center for
Biotechnology Information'
and get your own page ... which
would be something like the page
for my mtDNA available at ...
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
nuccore/134270212


Ian Logan
www.ianlogan.co.uk
CopyRight2009AllRightsReserved

DNA Definitions
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........Glossary
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What is a haplogroup?

One way to think about haplogroups is as
major branches on the family tree of Homo Sapiens.

These haplogroup branches characterize the early migrations of population groups. As a result, haplogroups are usually associated
with a geographic region. If haplogroups are the branches of the tree then the haplotypes represent the leaves of the tree. All of the
haplotypes that belong to a particular
haplogroup are leaves on the same branch. Both mtDNA and Y-DNA tests provide haplogroup information, but remember that the haplogroups nomenclature are different for each.


Go To FamilyTreeDNA
Y-DNA haplogroups
mtDNA haplogroups
How is my haplogroup determined?
How are the haplogroups named?
YCC Nomenclature System

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