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STR Marker Comparison by Laboratory
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Commercial Laboratories Providing DNA Services

The listing of the three commercial laboratories below does not constitute the entire industry but gives potential users an opportunity to view some typical offerings from the two most popular companies who provide this service in the United States and one company in The United Kingdom.  Each of these three companies utilize the services of different laboratory facilities.

For a comparison of the Y-Chromosome STR markers offered by these three well known commercial laboratories, see  Table 1 below.

Relative Genetics

2495 South West Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84115

Telephone: 801-461-9760
          Fax: 801-461-9761

James L. Sorenson, founded Relative Genetics in July 2001 after recognizing the marketplace need for a "genetic genealogy" company who marries genealogy with DNA testing.  For additional information, visit the Relative Genetics web site at

Relative Genetics utilizes the laboratory services of Sorenson Genomics.

In addition to the premium genetic genealogy service, Relative Genetics also currently provides a standard 26 marker Y-Chromosome DNA test which is priced at $155 for individuals or surname groups.  A 43 marker test has been made available by Sorenson Genomics to affiliates but has not been announced nor priced yet by Relative Genetics.   See Table 1 below for marker specifics.

Relative Genetics provides the primary laboratory testing for  the Lindsay Surname DNA Project.

Family Tree DNA, Inc.

1919 North Loop West, Suite 110
Houston, Texas 77008  USA
 Phone: (713) 828-4200
Fax: (713) 868-4584
Bennett Greenspan, President

Family Tree DNA Inc. offers both Y-Chromosome and mtDNA analyses. Their Y-Chromosome offerings are a 12, 25 or 37 marker tests, with upgrades.  Quoted pricing for the 12 marker test is $159 for individuals and $99 for groups.  Quoted pricing for the 25 marker test is $229 for individuals and $169 for groups.  Quoted pricing for the 37 marker test is $289 for individuals and $229 for groups.

FTDNA price also includes archival storage of the DNA for future usage.  For more information, visit the Family Tree DNA web site at   See Table 1 below for marker specifics.

Family Tree DNA has partnered with Dr. Michael Hammer of the University of Arizona in providing professional genetic expertise and the laboratory testing.  Dr. Hammer's University of Arizona web site can be found at

Oxford Ancestors

Institute of Molecular Medicine
University of Oxford
OX3 9DS, England

For more information, visit the Oxford Ancestors web site at

Oxford Ancestors is associated with Dr. Bryan Sykes, a professor of human genetics at Oxford University and international lecture guest.   Dr. Sykes established the Institute of Molecular Medicine as a genealogical venture in partnership with Oxford University. 

 Commercial offerings:

  1. mtDNA analysis (Matriline)

  2. Y-polymorphism DNA PCR testing (Y-Line).  Number of DNA Markers Tested: 10.

See Table 1 below for specifics.  Current pricing of the Oxford Ancestors offering is not known.


Y-Chromosome STR Marker Systems Comparison By Laboratory

The information in this table was last updated: April 19, 2004.

Table 1 - Y-Chromosome STR Marker Systems - Comparison of Laboratory Offerings 

Published Nomenclature of Marker System Sorenson Genomics Family Tree DNA Oxford Ancestors  
DYS385a 1 1    
DYS385b 2 2    
DYS388 3 3 1  
DYS389-1* 4 4 2  
DYS389-2* 5 5 3  
DYS390 6 6 4  
DYS391 7 7 5  
DYS392 8 8 6  
DYS393 (same as DYS395) 9 9 7  
DYS394 (same as DYS19) 10 10 8  
DYS425     9  
DYS426 11 11 10  
DYS437 12 13    
DYS438 13 26    
DYS439 (same as Y-GATA-A4) 14 12    
DYS441 27      
DYS442 28 27    
DYS444 29      
DYS445 30      
DYS446 31      
DYS447 15 14    
DYS448 32 15    
DYS449 33 16    
DYS452 34      
DYS454 16 17    
DYS455 17 18    
DYS456 35 28    
DYS458 36 19    
DYS459a 37 20    
DYS459b 38 21    

DYS460 (same as Y-GATA-A7.1)

18 29    
DYS461(same as Y-GATA-A7.2) 19      
DYS462 20      
DYS463 39      
DYS464a 40 22    
DYS464b 41 23    
DYD464c 42 24    
DYS464d 43 25    
DYS570   30    
DYS576   31    
DYS607   32    
CDYa   33    
CDYb   34    
GGAAT1B07 21      
YCAII-a 22 35    
YCAII-b 23 36    
Y-GATA-A10 24      
Y-GATA-C4 25      
Y-GATA-H4 26 37    

* Analyzing DYS389-1 & DYS389-2 Marker Mutations

You need to use caution in counting mutations for Y-chromosome marker DYS389.  In analyzing the data for this marker it is important to remember the following in your analysis of loci DYS389-1 and DYS389-2 matches and mismatches.

  1. The loci DYS389-1 and DYS389-2 are two legitimate lengths of DNA but move in tandem.
  2. DYS389-1 refers to the length of only one portion of the DYS389 marker.
  3. DYS389-2 refers to the total length of the DYS389 marker. Therefore, when there is a one step mutation at DYS389-1, it will also appear to be in DYS389-2.
  4. When comparing one individual to another, if the values for two individuals differ by one repeat at DYS389-1, that represents a one-step mismatch.
  5. If the values for the same two individuals differ also by one repeat at DYS389-2, then it should only be counted as one combined mutation for DYS389-1 & DYS389-2.
  6. If the marker values for two individuals differ by one repeat mismatch at DYS389-1 and a two repeat mismatch at DYS389-2, then it should be counted as two separate mismatches or mutations.
  7. There is another and potentially even more confusing situation that could occur at marker DYS389. If the marker values for two individuals differ by one repeat mismatch at DYS389-1 and then a perfect match at DYS389-2 for these same two individuals. This should be counted as two separate marker mismatches since the value mismatch at DYS389-1 was offset by a mutation in the opposite "direction" from the value previously found at DYS389-1 and appears to cancel out the mutation that occurred at DYS389-1.
  8. However, keep in mind there can be a mutation at DYS389-2 that will not affect the length found at DYS389-1.

Comparing Marker DYS389 Values From the Various Laboratories.

Values for DYS389-1 and DYS389-2 from both Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) and Relative Genetics laboratories are comparable.  In order to compare Oxford Ancestors values for DYS389 to values from FTDNA and Relative Genetics, you must first convert the OA values by doing the following.

First add the numeric value three (3) to the Oxford Ancestors value for DYS389-1.  This represents the comparable DYS389-1.  Next add the new DYS389-1 value from the preceding exercise to the Oxford Ancestors value for DYS389-2 minus DYS389-1.  This becomes the comparable value for DYS389-2.  Example: if your Oxford Ancestors numbers are 9 and 15, you would use 12 and 27 for comparison to FTDNA and Relative Genetics values for marker DYS389.

This Page Was Last Updated:  06/07/2005