Haplogroups can be compared with huge branches of the human family tree. A haplogroup unites people with a similar genetic profile who share a common ancestor.
A Y-chromosome haplogroup contains men who share a common ancestor in their pure male ancestral lineage. The Y-chromosome is passed on from father to son.
A mtDNA haplogroup contains men and women who share a common ancestor in their pure female ancestral lineage. The mtDNA is passed on from a mother to her children.
These haplogroup branches show just how population groups have migrated on Earth. Haplogroups thus also define a geographic region. Older haplogroups are larger and wide spread, they split up into nummerous subgroups.
To identify a haplogroup, SNPs are analysed. SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphism) are variations of individual base pairs in a DNA strand. Almost 90% of all genetic variations are based on SNPs. Their scientific importance lies in their frequent occurrence and high variability. Furthermore, they can be identified quickly and easily. There are SNP tests for mtDNA and Y-chromosomes. On the basis of these tests, one can confirm whether a person belongs to a haplogroup. Haplogroups, to be sure, do not necessarily play an important role from a genealogical point of view (closer degrees of kinship in the recent past up to 1.000 years), but from an anthropological and historical perspective (classical antiquity and more distant past), they are interesting. In this type of analysis, we can trace back the branching-off of haplogroups and sub-groups since our African origins and discover some very interesting facts about the migration patterns of our ancient ancestors. SNPs of the Y-chromosome are always labelled with a letter and a number for identification. The letters identify the laboratory which discovered this SNP, the numbers the sequence.
There is another method of identifyie ones y-chromsomal haplogroup: thanks to the studies and the algorithms of With Athey, the main haplogroup can also be investigated by means of the DYS-marker, which compares the alleles. This method is correct in 99% of cases, but for a 100% certain identification, SNP-analysis is still required iGENEA guarantees correct identification of your main haplogroup. In uncertain cases, an SNP-analysis will be performed free of charge, in order to be able to identify the haplogroup with absolute certainty.
Primordial Father/ Y-chromosome Adam
While this man is not the first male ancestor of all humanity, he is historically the last man, who is related to all men living at a certain point in time through an uninterrupted line of male descendants. According to actual estimations he lived about 60.000 to 90.000 years ago in Africa. This man passed on his Y-chromosome, but over the course of generations, more and more mutations were added, so that the profile changed more and more. This is how haplogroups arose; nevertheless, one primordial male ancestor, the first man who carried this particular mutation is still their starting point. In the course of time, the genetic family becomes ever larger and more complex. New SNPs are added, which characterise new sub-groups.
Primordial Mother / Mitochondrial Eve
The mitochondrial Eva is the woman from whose mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) the mitochondrial DNA of all people living today is derived. Like the Y-chromosome Adam, she is, so to speak, the primordial mother of all humanity in pure maternal lineage. She lived about 175.000 years ago also in Africa. From this mitochondrial Eve, numerous “primordial mothers” descend, who were the originators of a haplogroup representing the first woman, who carried and passed on a single particular mutation.