Maternal Relative (mtDNA) Comparison Test
This test is used to support or disprove a direct maternal connection
between 2 or more participants (male or female).
The mtDNA comparison DNA test, also known as a maternal lineage test, can confirm your relationship to long-lost relatives and possible ancestors through the maternal/female line. It can also provide additional information for situations where maternity is in question, but the mother is unavailable for a maternity test–although maternity itself can't be determined, we can determine the child's relationship to a possible maternal relative.
The testing process is simple—the samples are taken using a painless buccal (cheek) swab, and testing is completed in 2–3 weeks. We can either send you a testing kit to collect your DNA samples at home, or if your testing has legal implications, we can use a Chain of Custody collection process where your samples will be taken by a trained professional in a laboratory or clinic.
mtDNA Comparison vs. Ancestry DNA Testing
Unlike ancestry DNA tests, which give an ancient picture of your family and traces your geographical roots back several thousands of years, the comparison mtDNA test provides scientific confirmation of more recent relationships—for example, if you have identified a possible relative from genealogy resarch and want to confirm your relationship. This mtDNA comparative analysis will tell you whether or not your mtDNA sequences are consistent, or not consistent, with the conclusion that you and the possible relative(s) may be related through a common female ancestor.
mtDNA is Maternally Inherited
Both men and women have mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA); however, only women can pass their mtDNA on to their children. In a mitochondrial DNA comparison test, individuals’ mtDNA sequences are compared to see if they share certain regions of the DNA that indicate they come from the same maternal line.
The illustration to the right shows a typical inheritance pattern for mtDNA.
The mtDNA test compares your mtDNA sequence with the Cambridge Sequence, a reference sequence of mtDNA. While most of the mtDNA sequence does not change from generation to generation, there is a variable region in the mtDNA that does change, with a mutation rate that has been determined by scientists.
When variations are found between your sequence and the reference sequence, these indicate how the human race branched off over the years. Through many generations, your family’s sequence variations stay intact and are passed down through maternal lines.
For example, if a female in Generation One has a specific mtDNA sequence, then all of her descendants (male or female) with a direct maternal connection to her would also have similar markers through many generations, as shown in the above illustration. This means that her sons and daughter would have the same mtDNA sequence, but only her daughter would pass this sequence on.
To determine if this test will help you in your particular situation, please call 1-800-613-5768. One of our caring, knowledgeable case managers will review the information you provide and guide you through the testing process.