And the results are in!

March 23, 2010 at 5:03 pm 2 comments

First, a little bit more about Phylogenetics

I spoke in the previous post about mtDNA and the estimated rate of mutation in the mitochondrial genome. Researchers have found that genetic variation in mtDNA can be grouped into distinct lineages, many of which are only found in certain parts of the world (Devor). Since mitochondria are passed only from mother to offspring, researchers have predicted the existence of a common mitochondrial ancestor, affectionately called “Mitochondrial Eve” (Devor). Extrapolating the mtDNA mutation rate, researchers have also predicted how long ago Mitochondrial Eve lived and how long ago the common lineages diverged (Cann).

The oldest haplogroups, L1, L2, and L3, originated in Africa. L3 then formed haplogroups M and N in Northeast Africa. Scientists believe that the original inhabitants of Europe and Asia had mitochondrial DNA from the M and N haplogroups and began colonizing the continents between 60,000 to 80,000 years ago. Haplogroups H, I, J, N1b, T, U,V, W, and X are descendents of haplogroup N and constitute the majority of mitochondrial haplogroups in Europe (Shriver).

My Results: Hi, I’m Haplogroup H3!

The European lineages, including haplogroup H, arrived in Europe 40,000 to 50,000 years ago, near the end of the Ice Age (Devor). According to 23andMe, the H3 haplogroup arose during the Ice Age in northern Iberia. At the end of the Ice Age, Haplogroup H3 migrated in two groups, one to present-day France and the British Isles and the other to Italy and Sardinia, and later to Hungary. Haplogroup H3 is also found throughout Western Europe due to the northward migrations after the conclusion of the Ice Age. H3 is extremely rare outside Europe (“Maternal Lineage”).

My Genetic Similarity Map

My results say that I am 67.69% Southern European, and more specifically, Italian. My results also say that I am 67.55% similar to Northern Europeans and 67.31% similar to Near Easterners. These results are not entirely unexpected, but pretty exciting nonetheless. I am obsessed with Italian food and all things Italy, and I couldn’t be happier to be ancestrally Italian.

Works Cited
Cann, Rebecca L., Mark Stoneking, and Allan C. Wilson. “Mitochondrial DNA and Human Evolution.” Nature 325 (1987): 31-35.
Devor, Eric J. Mitochondrial DNA. Publication. Integrated DNA Technologies, 2005. Web. 1 Mar. 2010.
“Maternal Lineage.” 23andMe. Web. 22 Mar. 2010.


Entry filed under: my results.

So what is genetic ancestry testing, really? It’s a family reunion on the internet

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Chris  |  April 1, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    omg what does it say?!?

  • 2. dnancestree  |  April 25, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    How lucky you are to have so many “close” relatives! I only have one who shares 0.23% of my DNA. I debated contacting him. Will let you know if I do and if so, what happens.


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