How the test works

This test can be used to determine whether two or more people have the same maternal lineage, or if male and/or female children have the same biological mother*. It is important to note that males do not pass the X-SV they inherited from their mother to their children. It is only females who pass on their MtDNA to their offspring.

The test is based on the mitochondrial DNA sequence variation (mtDNA-SV) that is passed from females to their male and female offspring. The result of this test is based on the generation of a unique X-SV profile for each person tested. If the MtDN patterns are an exact match between the people tested, we can confirm that the participants share the same maternal lineage.

Important notes

Whilst this test is highly accurate at confirming maternal lineage, it cannot determine the nature of the relationship between test participants (eg. aunt, niece, nephew, mother etc.) In other words, the test will not differentiate between relatives from the same maternal lineage. You and any other test participants will need to make your own conclusions based upon the results of the test and what you intended to find out.

Sample collection for MtDNA testing

Sample collection for an MtDNA test is done by means of mouth swabs. homeDNAdirect provides all its clients with a complete home sample collection kit which will make it possible for you to collect your samples in the comfort of your own home in just a few minutes. Mouth swabs are rubbed inside the mouth to collect cheek cells which are then analysed for their MtDNA. Read more about our sample collection procedure.

*Need to establish whether you share the same mother?

An MtDNA test can only provide an indication that tested parties share the same mother. If tested parties are sure that there could be no other possible relationship between them, then an MtDNA test will conclusively confirm they share the same maternal line. Whether the common maternal ancestor they share is their mother, great grandmother and aunt etc will not be specified in the results. If you wanted to confirm whether you and another individual share the same mother, the ideal option would be to include the mother’s DNA sample and directly carry out a maternity test.


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