- Also known as a 'Project Administrator', 'Group Project Administrator',
'Project Manager', 'Coordinator' and 'Co-Coordinator'. A
volunteer who establishes a DNA study with one or multiple commercial DNA testing
Admixture DNA - The
non-gender chromosomes that mix or recombine. Also known as autosomal
Allele - (pronounced UH-leel)
- Used in genetic genealogy in reference to the scientific result for a marker.
Ancestral haplotype - The haplotype of a MRCA deduced by comparing
descendants' haplotypes and eliminating mutations. A
minimum of three lines, as distantly related as possible, is recommended for deducing the
- Refers to the state of a SNP that has mutated and is shared by the most people. Example:
A negative result on a SNP means it is ancestral, a positive result means it is derived.
atDNA - Acronym for Autosomal
Autosomal DNA - The DNA
of non-sex-determining chromosomes that mix or recombine. Also known as admixture
Anthrogenealogy - A
term coined by Family Tree DNA combining the words 'anthro' and 'genealogy'
in reference to utilizing DNA to trace one's heritage far beyond recorded
Coalescence age - The merging of genetic lineages
backwards in time to the most recent common ancestor (MRCA)
CODIS - Acronym for Combined DNA
Index System - The FBI's autosomal
DNA database for profiles of criminal offenders.
CRS - Acronym for Cambridge Reference
Sequence. The first mitochondrial DNA to be fully sequenced at Cambridge
University in 1981. The anonymous donor of the CRS was haplogroup
'H'. Mitochondrial results are determined based upon where the results differ from
Derived state - Refers
to the state of a SNP that has mutated, usually in one man, from the ancestral state and created a new haplogroup
or sub-clade of a haplogroup. A positive SNP result is
derived, a negative SNP result is ancestral.
DNAF - Acronym for DNA-Fingerprint
- a commercial DNA testing company.
DNAH - Acronym for DNA
Heritage - a commercial DNA testing company.
DNA-NEWBIE - A DNA-Newbie is someone who is
new to the field of genetic genealogy. It is also the name of a Yahoo mailing list
forum sponsored by the International Society of Genetic Genealogy. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DNA-NEWBIE/
DYS - Acronym for DNA Y-chromosome
Segment - The assigned number of a marker on a segment of the
Y-chromosome. Example: DYS# 393
EA - Acronym for EthnoAncestry
- a commercial DNA testing company.
FTDNA - Acronym for Family
Tree DNA - a commercial DNA testing company.
FTDNATiP - Acronym for Family Tree
DNA Time Predictor - A program created to
calculate the time to the MRCA using mutation rates specific to each
GAP - Acronym for the Group Administrator
Page - This is a webpage in which a DNA Project Administrator utilizes
functions such as creating a public website, generating a FTDNATiP report, etc. to assist
project participants in coordinating results.
GEDCOM - Acronym for Genealogical Data
Communications - A plain text program created for exchanging genealogical
data between different genealogical programs. Family Tree DNA's 'My FTDNA' page, Y-Search and Mitosearch all contain a
feature to upload a GEDCOM for pedigree comparisons to matches.
Genetic Genealogy -
The latest tool for genealogists utilizing DNA to aid genealogical research.
Genographic Project - (pronounced GENE-o-graphic)
- A five-year scientific genetics project launched in 2005 to study and map human
migratory patterns. Along with testing indigenous populations, the project offers a
12-marker Y-chromosome or HVR1 mtDNA test for public participation with a portion of the
proceeds benefiting the indigenous communities. The project is sponsored by National
Geographic, IBM and the Waitt Foundation. Genographic participants have the option
to join Family Tree DNA's database once their DNA results are in.
Haplogroup - A group of
similar haplotypes that share a common ancestor with a SNP
mutation. Because a haplogroup consists of similar haplotypes, this is what makes it
possible to predict a haplogroup. A SNP test confirms a haplogroup.
Haplogroups are assigned letters of the alphabet, and refinements consist of additional
number and letter combinations, Example: R1b1. Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA
haplogroups have different haplogroup designations. Haplogroups pertain to your deep
ancestral origins dating back thousands of years.
Haplotype - The term for the
set of numbers that consists of your Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA results. Haplotypes are also known
HVR - Acronym for Hyper Variable
Region - The sections of non-coding mitochondrial DNA that are used for genealogical DNA
ISOGG - Acronym for the International Society
of Genetic Genealogy, a free society founded in
2005 for the promotion and education of genetic genealogy.
Junk DNA - Slang term usually
used in referring to the non-coding region of DNA on the Y-chromosome. For more about: http://www.psrast.org/junkdna.htm
JoGG - The Journal of Genetic
Genealogy - An online journal published quarterly with articles and features
pertaining to genetic genealogy and anthrogenealogy.
- Acronym for
- See: NRY
Marker - A specific place on a
chromosome with two or more forms, called alleles,
the inheritance of which can be followed from one generation to the next. In genetic genealogy, this refers to non-coding
Y-chromosome DNA. Numbers designate the individual DNA
segments. Example: 393=13. This means at marker #393, your allele
value is 13.
Mitochondrial DNA -
Energy releasing organelles located in the cytoplasm of cells,
which contain their own DNA. Mitochondrial DNA is passed from mother to child, but
only females continue to pass on their maternal mitochondria to their children.
Mitosearch - A free public
database sponsored by Family Tree DNA where mitochondrial
DNA results from any testing facility may be uploaded and compared.
MRCA - Acronym for Most
Recent Common Ancestor. The
most recent ancestor from which a group of individuals share descent
mtDNA - Acronym for mitochondrial
Mutation - A change in the
DNA that occurs spontaneously. Mutation is a scientific term that often
connotes a negative connotation as a result of 1950's 'B' movies, but in genetic genealogy, mutations are utilized for distinguishing
different ancestral lines. Mutations can also occur due to environmental factors,
such as exposure to radiation.
Non-coding DNA - Also
referred to as 'junk DNA,' non-coding DNA is not part of an active
gene that contains a code for making a protein. Recent evidence shows that at least
some non-coding DNA is involved in biological processes such as regulation of gene
expression and chemical signaling among cells. All testing for genealogical purposes
is done on non-coding DNA, which makes up nearly 98% of human DNA
- Acronym for
- The section of the Y-chromosome that is passed from father to son on
down the paternal line. While it does not recombine, it does have
mutations over time.
Nuclear DNA - DNA of chromosomes found in the
nucleus of the cell.
Null - A null is a value
of zero on a marker. Nulls can occur due to missing genetic material on a marker, or
a SNP can sometimes cause a null result. Several YSTR
markers have been identified in certain families to have null results: 439,
OA - Acronym for Oxford
Ancestors - a commercial DNA testing company.
Organelle - A cell structure
with specialized functions.
Palindrome - A double-stranded DNA segment in which
the sequence of one strand is in the reverse order to the other strand. Example:
DYS464X where a family line in R1b1c has cccc or ccgg instead of the usual cccg pattern.
Phylo-tree - Shortened term
for Phylogenetic Tree - Most often used in reference to the
available online diagrams connecting all Y-chromosome haplogroups. This term is also applied to DNA project
diagrams created by Project Administrators utilizing
Proxy - Usually used in reference
to the contact person for a DNA test. Example: A female who
has tested a male relative.
RAO - Acronym for Recent Ancestral
Origins (formerly known as REO - Recent Ethnic Origins)
The number of matches you have in Family Tree DNA's database as specified by country or
region. To access the RAO, Family Tree DNA clients need to click the tab on their
"My FTDNA" page.
recLOH - Acronym for Recombinant
Loss of Heterozygosity - When a section of DNA
on a marker is missing, that marker is sometimes repaired by another marker filling in the
missing DNA with its own material. This is referred to as a "recLOH event" and
is usually observed with multi-copy markers like 385a and 385b, and is also common in the
464 set. The recLOH event causes the allele values to match 11-11 instead of the
more common, 11-14 that you see in R1b. For more about: Recombinational Loss of Heterozygosity (recLOH)
RG - Acronym for Relative
Genetics - a commercial DNA testing company.
SMGF - Acronym for Sorensen Molecular
Genealogy Foundation. Established by James Sorensen as a
scientific genealogical DNA database, participants submit a DNA sample along with a four
generation pedigree chart. While participation is free, SMGF does not send
participants their results. However, many participants are able to "find"
themselves in the online results database by matching up their pedigrees. Currently,
only Y-chromosome results appear in the database, and the
current wait time for results to appear is between nine months to over two years.
SNP - (pronounced SNIP) -
Acronym for Single Nucleotide Polymorphism.
A SNP test confirms your haplogroup by determining if a SNP has mutated from its derived or ancestral state. A SNP is usually found on a different
area of the Y-chromosome than where the YSTR
markers are. Sometimes, a SNP may cause a null result on a marker.
STR - Acronym for Short Tandem
Repeat - See: YSTR
Sub-clade - Referring to a
"branch" farther down the phylogenetic tree.
Example: H3 -> '3' is a sub-clade of mitochondrial haplogroup 'H'. R1b -> '1b' is a sub-clade of Y-chromosome haplogroup 'R'. Sub-clade testing is also
referred to as deep clade testing.
TG - Acronym for Trace
Genetics - a commercial DNA testing company.
- A method of determining the DNA haplotype
of an ancestor using the DNA results of direct line descendants.
Whit's Predictor - The commonly applied nickname to
the "Y-Haplogroup Predictor" created by Whit Athey. Enter Y-chromosome markers into the predictor and it will display
percentages for matches to various haplogroups.
X-chromosome - The female sex chromosome, if a child
receives one X from the father and one X from the mother, the child's gender is female.
Y-chromosome - The male
sex chromosome. In other words, only males have a Y-chromosome, which they receive
from their father, who received it from his father, and so on. This transmission of
the Y-chromosome down the male line is why it is useful for surname testing to determine
if two males share a common ancestor.
Y-Base - A free public database sponsored by DNA Heritage where Y-chromosome DNA results from any testing facility may
be uploaded and compared.
Y-Search - A free public
database sponsored by Family Tree DNA where Y-chromosome DNA results
from any testing facility may be uploaded and compared.
YSTR - Acronym for Y-chromosome
Short Tandem Repeat. The number of times the sequence of bases
repeat that determines the value of the marker. Example: Thirteen repeats of
the same bases equals a value of '13'.