Mitochondrial DNA test
The mitochondrial DNA test is a genetic comparison between two individuals to determine a maternal connection.
The mitochondria is an autonomous structure present in all human cells. This component has the particularity of having its own DNA, and its function is to provide energy to the cell allowing it to become completely autonomous in turn.
The mitochondria and therefore its mitochondrial DNA are transmitted only by the mother to all her children . This transmission is completely identical from generation to generation , because mitochondrial DNA mutations are extremely rare .
The mitochondrial DNA test consists of analyzing the markers of this DNA, in order to define your maternal line with great precision. It can be carried out by men and women for genealogical research as well as for a relationship test.
The mitochondrial DNA test can be done exclusively with oral samples.
What is a Mitochondrial DNA test?
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The mitochondrial DNA test can be performed with:
- Salivary samples (Sterile buccal swabs)
Attention, it is not possible to perform this test with another type of sample!
What type of sample is used for the test?
You can do a DNA test to find out the parentage at home in a private setting. The order can be made directly on the internet from your home in order to receive the sampling equipment at home.
Despite everything, it is still impossible to obtain a DNA test in a pharmacy, moreover only a laboratory with genetic analysis equipment and accredited by international standards can provide the result for a DNA test.
How to do a Mitochondrial
Maternal Line Participants
In order to determine a maternal lineage, the laboratory analyzes the mitochondrial DNA passed down only by the mother to all her children .
In this context, all individuals descended from this line share the same mitochondrial DNA , however the hereditary line breaks with a father. Males are not able to transmit this DNA.
Mitochondrial DNA is a hereditary DNA which has the particularity of not suffering from the wear and tear of time and thus does not present any mutation through several generations.
Maternal lineage testing determines whether mitochondrial DNA genes are alike or not , and concludes if the individuals tested may be related through a common female ancestor.
In contrast, mitochondrial DNA analysis cannot distinguish a specific relationship between females belonging to the same maternal line .
For example, the test will not be able to define motherhood between an alleged mother and an aunt if the two share the same mitochondrial DNA.
However, it can be useful in excluding a mother from an alleged biological relationship.
- The grandmother can participate in the test
The grandmother must be the alleged mother's biological mother
A mitochondrial test with the grandmother will determine whether or not there is a maternal line between the mother and her children.
- Technically, mitochondrial DNA testing can be done without the mother.
But for reliability and cost reasons, if the mother is available, it is advisable to do the maternity test
- You can do the test with uncle and aunt
The uncle and aunt must have the same biological mother as the alleged mother
A mitochondrial test with the uncle and aunt will determine whether or not there is a maternal line between the mother and her children
- One or more cousins can participate in the test
The mother of the cousins must be the biological sister of the alleged mother
A mitochondrial DNA test with cousins will determine whether or not there is a maternal line between the mother and her children
- One or more siblings can participate in the test
The test can be done between half-siblings.
If in your search for maternity, the doubt is about presumed mothers coming from the same family, then the mitochondrial DNA test is not suitable for your situation. Please, in this case, consult our guide on finding maternity to find a suitable test.
Genetic analysis of the mitochondrial DNA to determine maternal lineage and search for maternity can be useful in several constructs depending on the participants:
- Genetic analysis between sisters and half-sisters (different biological father)
- Genetic analysis between cousins (on the maternal side: the children of the aunt)
- Genetic analysis between a niece and an aunt (the aunt must have the same biological mother as the mother sought)
- Genetic analysis between grandchildren and their maternal grandmother
Under what conditions can a maternal line be defined?
Consent is the agreement you give to the laboratory to use your DNA for the purpose of carrying out a genetic analysis. It is mandatory if you want to do a mitochondrial DNA test.
Consent can only be given explicitly by an adult and fully lucid person.
This agreement must be drafted after having received information about the outcomes of the test, through a contract or a consent form.
It is against the law to do a DNA test without the person's consent.
For minors, consent must be provided by one of the legal parents.
What is consent for a DNA test?
Mitochondrial Test Results
- 20 to 30 days using mouth swabs for all participants
This delay is calculated from the moment your samples arrive at the laboratory. Transport time is not taken into account.
What are the analysis times for a maternal lineage test
The reliability and authenticity of test DNA depends on several factors:
- The quality of the samples
- Laboratory accreditation
- The choice of the test according to the family situation
How reliable are mitochondrial DNA results?
The quality of the DNA will depend on the collection and storage of the samples . It is therefore important to follow the instructions of the laboratory in order to ensure that you receive results.
Accredited laboratories meet the requirements relating to the analysis process, management of resources and equipment, impartiality and confidentiality of information. For a mitochondrial DNA test, the laboratory must have ISO 17025 accreditation .
The results are presented in the form of a table:
- Each column corresponding to a participant
- Each line has genes that are compared
- The composition of the gene is represented by one or two numbers per profile
How to read mitochondria test results?
DNA analysis is a direct relationship test. The genetic laboratory compares the profiles of each individual to determine whether they are similar or not. So the answer is either positive or negative, there is no room for doubt.
It is not possible to get inconclusive results for the DNA test.
The choice of laboratory is a very important step when you want to do a Mithochondria DNA test. You should know that not all laboratories offer the same services.
You must choose a laboratory according to:
- Your family situation and available participants
- The confidence that the laboratory inspires through customer feedback
- The transparency of the company concerning its activity and your expectations
How to choose a reliable Laboratory?
Maternity DNA Test
With the maternity test, you can compare your genetic profile directly with that of an alleged mother to define a biological relationship or not.
Paternity search between sisters
The analysis of the X chromosome makes it possible to define whether the two sisters share the same paternal X chromosome. For this, it is mandatory that the sisters share the same biological mother.
Mitochondrial DNA analysis can also be used for genealogical research on the origins of your maternal ancestors.
Genealogy DNA testing examines specific locations in your DNA to estimate ancestral genetic relationships. It allows your genetic profile to be compared and integrated with a database that lists and uses different reference ethnic groups , composed of people tested and whose previous origins are known.
There are two main types of genealogical DNA testing , each examining a different part of the genome and useful for different types of genealogical research:
In order to have information on your origins :
- Know your ethnic percentage
- Find information about the origin of your family
- Understand population migrations
You wish to complete the genealogical archives of your family :
- Improve your classic genealogy research
- Discover and identify genetic matches
- Find family members
- Add your genetic profile to a database
The genealogy DNA test will not give you with certainty and precision a biological relationship between family members . It can give you a more or less distant relationship percentage that you must confirm with a relationship test in order to guarantee the biological link.
The mitochondrial DNA genealogy test can be used to determine the origins of maternal ancestry and trace the ancestors of the family on your mother's side.
In addition to providing you with important information in your genealogical research, this DNA test gives you access to:
- Your direct maternal line and your geographical origins
- Relationships with people who have the same DNA
- The ancient migration paths of your female ancestors
- Your maternal haplogroup affiliation
Mitochondrial DNA makes it possible to investigate your mother's lineage very accurately. This approach can help you find unknown or lost relatives.
It is possible to order a genealogy test with mitochondria:
- This test is done individually
- With a saliva sample only
- The results are available in English
- Analysis is ready in 4 - 5 weeks