Sunday, 23 November 2008
My Venezuelan mitochondria
So I sent my DNA sample to the Genographic project yesterday morning.
Basically now they will test the DNA located in my mitochondria and in that way find out about my maternal haplogroup. The mitochondria is inherited from our mothers. My mitochondria are just like those of my mother's mother's mother's mother. Scientists will more concretely check the nucleotids found in the hypervariable region (HVR 1 and 2, blue in the first picture), a.k.a. "control region" or "D-loop". The DNA molecule mutates faster in that spot and that has enabled science to trace back when the maternal lines have split over the time around the globe.
When I did my Y-test I was expecting any haplogroup (which is about the same using man's Y chrosome), as Venezuela is so mixed and most of our family lines get so blurred in the XIX century. I thought some major European group or Berber or sub-Saharan was going to be the one I have.
I turned out to be J2, which may come from a Southern Spaniard who, on his turn, was the descendant of a Phoenician/Greek/Roman soldier/Northern Arab or anyone else whose ancestors came from the Fertile Crescent some 9000 years ago.
What about my maternal line? As I wrote before, chances are big that it is Indian. Latin America is a very varied region, but Venezuela is particularly so and that within most families. Native American tribes make up just less than 2% of the total Venezuelan population, but a lot of the rest have one way or the other Indian blood, mostly from the mother's side: European Conquistadores were the ones invading, the ones occupying the land. Fewer Spanish women came in, at least in the first centuries. But then the line can be European as well...or sub-Saharan or about anything. Let's see...in 8 weeks.
I think more Latinos, Jews, Arabs and Chinese and Europeans and everybody should take this test and get a better understanding of how we all are very closely linked AND not exactly according to some literal interpretation of any script.