Maternal Lineage (mtDNA) Test
Maternal lineage (mtDNA) testing is a method for proving family relationships through the maternal line (the mother’ side of the family). It uses a unique form of DNA found in the cells of our body called mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA).
Unlike the DNA used in paternity testing, which is found in the cell nucleus, mtDNA is found in the mitochondria, parts of the cell that are responsible for producing energy. Everyone inherits their mitochondrial DNA from their biological mother; thus we can test this particular form of DNA to determine whether or not individuals are related through their mother's side of the family. The diagram on the right shows how mitochondrial DNA is inherited. Those who are in the same maternal line share very similar maternal DNA sequences.
Results of a maternal lineage test may be used as additional evidence in complicated paternity and inheritance cases, for example, to supplement siblingship test results. It is also used in genealogy studies to confirm possible maternal relatives. Testing mtDNA is also useful when very small amounts of sample or unusual samples are available.
Maternal lineage tests can be performed using a home test kit or utilizing the Chain of Custody, a documentation process that makes the test results legally admissible (accepted by courts and other government agencies).
If you would like to discuss either option, please call one of our case managers at 1-888-362-2592.
Both males and females can be tested in a maternal lineage test. At least two persons are tested to see if they are related through the maternal line.
Painless Sample Collection
Our standard procedure uses the painless and non-invasive buccal swaba cotton-like swab rubbed against the inside of your mouth to gather loose cheek cells.
Results for maternal
lineage tests are available within 2-3 weeks after we receive samples from all
tested parties. Results for home tests are emailed once they are released by the laboratory.
Legal test results are signed by one of our Ph.D.
scientists, notarized, and delivered via first class mail, fax, or courier.