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mtDNA Maternal Lineage DNA Test

The mtDNA (maternal ancestry) DNA 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 testing–although maternity itself can't be determined, we can determine the child's relationship to a possible maternal relative.

The process of mtDNA testing is simple.

Both men and women have mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA); however, only women can pass their mtDNA on to their children. In an ancestry DNA 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.

DNA Paternity Test

DNA Paternity Test

Illustration to the left shows a typical inheritance pattern for mtDNA.

The ancestry DNA 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.

Most genealogy DNA testing companies allow you to enter your DNA profile into a database in hopes of finding matches or possible relatives. Our testing labs provide the scientific confirmation of the relationship once you have identified a possible relative from your ancestry search; we perform a comparative analysis testing both you and the possible relative. 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.


Relationship Testing Performed By An AABB Accredited Laboratory

The mtDNA test may be useful in both Ancestry DNA Test and Genealogy DNA Test. To determine if this test will help you pleas complete our contact form or call 1-888-312-4362. A caring, knowledgeable case manager will review information you provide and assist you on how to proceed.  In summary:


  • Results of mtDNA Maternal Ancestry Test: Possible relationship is either supported or not supported.
  • Turnaround Time: 2-3 weeks.
  • Participants: Possible maternally linked males or females, or people interested in obtaining their mtDNA sequence for research purposes.
  • Other Details: This test is used to support or disprove a direct maternal connection between 2 participants (male or female).

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