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