HOOPER ~ Mitochondrial DNA ~ PROJECT

Mitochondrial DNA Study Presentation 

by Wade Glascock

 ~ Hooper DNA Projects Administrator ~

Use the link below to JOIN the Hooper DNA Projects and purchase your DNA test:

Welcome to the Hooper mtDNA Project ~

In order to provide further genetic information about the many branches of the Hooper family, the Hooper DNA Project is expanding to include testing on the female line.  Testing for the female line involves testing of what is known as Mitochondrial DNA or for short mtDNA.  This type of testing has many differences from the Y-Chromosome DNA testing for the male line.

First let's take a brief look at how this all works:

Inside every cell of your body are hundreds of tiny organisms called mitochondria.  These organisms pull oxygen molecules across the cell's membrane and into the cell.  The cell then uses the oxygen as energy to perform all the functions unique to that type of cell.  Mitochondria are actual living organisms that eons ago formed a symbiotic relationship with cellular life.  The mitochondria received a warm, safe place to live and the cells got the oxygen that allowed them to develop into ever more complex forms.

Every one of the billions of mitochondria in your body are identical to one another.  Also every mitochondria in your body is identical to every mitochondria in your mother's body. Your mitochondria were inherited directly from your mother and she inherited her's from her mother and so forth down through the ages.

The method of inheritance occurs at conception.  Like all other cells, the mother's egg cells would contain mitochondria.  The father's sperm cell would also contain his mitochondria.  When the sperm and egg cell meet the father's mitochondria enters the egg cell.  However, the egg cell is much larger and contains many more mitochondria than the sperm cell.  The mitochondria in the mother's egg cell attack and kill the mitochondria from the father's sperm cell.  The mother's mitochondria are the only ones to survive and as the cell divides and grows into a child, the resulting child will have mitochondria only from its mother.

Okay let's end this part of the science lecture and move on to history (with a bit of science thrown in):

If you've followed the news concerning studies and theories about the development of man, then you may have heard of the "Out of Africa" theory.  This theory contends that the human race began in Africa and then spread to the rest of the world.  Thus far mitochondrial DNA testing has tended to support this theory.  Moreover, mtDNA testing also supports a theory that says that every person on earth is the direct descendant of a single woman.  The descendants of this woman spread throughout the world and over time their mtDNA slowly changed into the variety found today.  No one can say whether these theories are really true, but what is true, is that genetic relationships are revealed through the use of mtDNA testing.

With the Hooper mtDNA Project we will be trying to join Hooper branches through the female line.

Again, the results from an mtDNA test are going to be significantly different from the Y-DNA results.  They allude to it in the sentence "your differences from the Cambridge Reference Sequence".

The first scientists to completely sequence mtDNA were from Cambridge University in England.  The Cambridge Reference Sequence (CRS) essentially comes from one person, it turns out to just be coincidence that that one person is part of Haplogroup H, the most common haplogroup in Europe.  The CRS has a couple of positions which are actually the rare form, for example: 263A in HyperVariable Region 2 (HVR2), thus when FTDNA reports differences from the CRS, many people will have a 263G, which is actually the most common base at that position.

The mtDNA tests taken now are compared against this European sequence and all the differences are noted.  So the results you get will be a listing of how your sequence differs from the Cambridge Reference Sequence.

When comparing two tests for an ancestor connection, there is no room for differences.  The two sequences must match exactly (or have the exact same differences from the reference sequence) or there is no relationship.

The candidate for this testing can be either a man or a woman, but must have an unbroken female only line of descent from the target ancestor. The test is easy to take and can be performed in your own home.  

Our project is registered with Family Tree DNA.  FTDNA is a company that is using DNA testing solely for the purpose of genealogical research.  If you have questions about this company visit their website at: www.familytreedna.com

When you receive your results a report generally describing mtDNA, the meaning of polymorphism, your differences from the Cambridge Reference Sequence and the meaning of probability between matches will be sent to you.  Again, the Cambridge Reference Sequence was determined to be the most common amongst Europeans and is used as a model to compare other sequences against.  Your results will be a listing showing where your sequence differs from the Cambridge Reverence Sequence Standard.

If you have questions about our projects, contact: Wade Glascock, Projects Administrator, or either of the Projects Co-Managers: Hal Hooper or Clay Hooper.

Materials on this page and linked webpages within this site are 2002-2057 by Clay Hooper, those that have submitted materials, and those that have participated in the HOOPER DNA PROJECT. Family researchers and tax-exempt genealogical societies may freely link to these web pages and/or use the material personally, as described under copyright law. All for-profit reproduction of these electronic pages - in any format - by any other organization or persons is restricted by the author. All others desiring to use this material must obtain written consent of the copyright holder.