Paternal Dna Testing Father Genetic Test

Paternal DNA testing traces male ancestry by using testing a man’s Y-chromosome. This type of paternal DNA test examines genetic material passed from fathers to sons on the Y chromosome. Here are a few basic facts about Y-line tests:

  • Only men can take a Y-chromosome test, because women do not have Y-chromosomes. If a woman is interested in her paternal heritage, she will need to review the test results of a closely-related male, such as a brother.
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  • Our DNA changes gradually, over many generations, though random mutations. Most of these are harmless and become the patterns, or markers, used to identify groups and individuals.
  • Paternal Y-line tests examine repeating DNA sequences known as short tandem repeats (STR’s). Variations in STR’s provide paternal DNA results and help identify genealogy.
  • Short tandem repeats are only one of many types of genetic markers which are part of a “DNA fingerprint.” A genetic marker is a recognizable DNA sequence which can be caused by a change or mutation of the area (loci) under observation.
  • Result accuracy increases with the number of markers tested.
  • Specific STR patterns can help identify the test subject’s genetic group (haplotype).

How Paternal DNA Testing Works

Learning about DNA genealogy from your paternal family begins by using a cheek swab to collect a DNA sample. This can be done at a local lab, or by obtaining a mail-in DNA testing kit from an online testing site. After the results are analyzed, you can access information about your genetic haplogroup.

Scientists believe that humans originated in east Africa and began migrating to other parts of the world more than 100,000 years ago. As they moved, their DNA evolved differently in various regions, creating a number of specific clans, or haplogroups. When you discover your haplogroup, you will be able to learn the history of your ancestors’ migration pattern.

Another element of paternal DNA testing involves comparing your results to those of others in the database. This will help to identify people in the database who may be related to you. You and other participants can even look for your most recent common ancestor. A paternal DNA test can help you get in touch with your genetic cousins and learn where your family trees might cross.

Paternal DNA Testing for Women

Only men can take a Y-chromosome test, which creates a problem for women wishing to trace their paternal ancestry. The solution is to use the DNA of a close male relative. A woman can test the DNA of her:

  • brother
  • father
  • grandfather
  • paternal uncle.

The DNA of a woman’s son would not be acceptable, since it also contains information from his father’s ancestral line. Male relatives from a woman’s mother’s side of the family also would not make acceptable DNA subjects for a woman’s paternal study.

Controversies

Paternal DNA testing presents some controversy. Paternal DNA results only examine a single genetic line. This means that a test will only identify one male ancestor in each generation. After several generations, thousands of important ancestors may be excluded from the test subject’s genealogy records. Because of this problem, testing paternal DNA can not always provide the entire answer to the question of ethnic or historical genetic identity.

Resources

Ancestry.com. (n.d.). Tracing your paternal ancestry. Retrieved September 11, 2008, from the Ancestry.com Web site: http://c.ancestry.com/pdf/dna/PaternalDNAv1.0.pdf

Ancestry.com. (2008). Paternal lineage test. Retrieved September 11, 2008, from the Ancestry.com Web site: http://dna.ancestry.com/learnMorePaternal.aspx

Ellliott, C. and Brodwin, P. (2002). Identity and genetic ancestry tracking. Retrieved September 11, 2008, from the PubMedCentral Web site: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=139044