Comparison of Y-DNA and mtDNA haplogroups

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  Y-DNA Haplogroups mtDNA Haplogroups
Name of tree Y-DNA Haplogroup Tree mtDNA Haplogroup Tree
Founder at root of haplogroup tree A male ancestor called the "Y-chromosomal Adam" who lived over 100,000 years ago in Africa is the earliest common paternal ancestor of all humans living today. A female ancestor called the "mitochondrial Eve" who lived over 100,000 years ago in Africa is the earliest common maternal ancestor of all humans living today.
Naming of Haplogroup Capital letters A to T (e.g. Y-DNA haplogroup R). Capital letters A to Z (e.g. mtDNA haplogroup H).
Naming of Subclade Lower case letters and numbers (e.g. Y-DNA subclade R1b1b2a1a). Lower case letters and numbers (e.g. mtDNA subclade H2a).
Line traced Paternal lineage (father's father's father...) Maternal lineage (mother's mother's mother...)
Who can be tested Males only. Only males have Y-DNA so only males can be tested. Females wishing to determine their paternal haplogroup must test the Y-DNA of a male relative such as a brother, male cousin, nephew, etc. Both males and females.
How to predict haplogroup Y-DNA STR test mtDNA HVR-1 test
mtDNA HVR-2 test
How to confirm haplogroup Y-DNA SNP backbone test mtDNA SNP backbone test (in conjunction with HVR-1 and HVR-2 tests) or mtDNA full sequencing test
Subclade tests available R, I, J, G, L, O, Q Haplogroup H. The mtDNA full sequencing test will confirm the subclades of all haplogroups.
Tests available Y-DNA STR
Y-DNA Backbone SNP
Y-DNA Subclade
Y-DNA Stand Alone SNP
mtDNA Backbone SNP
Full mtDNA Sequencing

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Compare the 3 technologies

Compare the features, benefits, and limitations of each DNA test type to help you decide on the marker type(s) best suited for your situation:

  • Autosomal DNA STR
  • mtDNA
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Y-DNA Haplogroups
Main Haplogroups | A | B | BT | C | CF | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | NO | O | O3 | P | Q | R | R1 | R1a | R1a1 | R1b | R2 | S | T
mtDNA Haplogroups
Main Haplogroups | L0 | L1 | L1b | L2 | L2d | L3 | L3b | L3d | L3e | M | N | D | Q | CZ | C | Z | E | G | A | S | X | R | I | W | Y | JT | P | U | R0 | F | B | J | T | K | HV | H | HV0 | V