- FOR BEGINNERS
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
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:
and a very complicated one at:
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
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
and get your own page ... which
would be something like the page
for my mtDNA available at ...
..............of DNA Terms Click Here
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
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.
How is my haplogroup determined?
How are the haplogroups named?
YCC Nomenclature System
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