Genetic Ancestry Testing


Division of Human Genetics,

National Health Laboratory Service
NHLS Practice Number: 5200296

Would you like to trace your Genetic Ancestry?

Paternal and Maternal DNA tests can unravel your genomic ancestry and give you an insight into your deep ancestry. Generally, most people can trace their roots back to their grandparents or great-grandparents at the most. Your DNA can tell you a story about your roots going back thousands of years into the distant past.

Two types of genetic ancestry testing are offered by our laboratory:
 
  • Y chromosome testing: Variations in the Y chromosome, passed solely from father to son, are used to explore ancestry in the direct male line. Y chromosome testing can only be done on males, as females do not have a Y chromosome. However, women interested in this type of genetic testing sometimes recruit a male relative to have the test done.


  • Mitochondrial DNA testing: This type of testing identifies genetic variations in mitochondrial DNA. Although most DNA is packaged in chromosomes within the cell nucleus, cell structures called mitochondria also have a small amount of their own DNA (known as mitochondrial DNA). Both males and females have mitochondrial DNA, which is passed on from their mothers, so this type of testing can be used by either sex. It provides information about the direct female ancestral line. Mitochondrial DNA testing can be useful for genealogy because it preserves information about female ancestors that may be lost from the historical record because of the way surnames are often passed down.

We all have DNA which encodes our ge¬netic history. Within the last two decades, revolutionary work by geneticists around the world has revealed that mitochondrial DNA which is passed from mother to child unchanged for many generations and Y-chromosomal DNA which is inherited by sons from their fathers can be employed to understand personal origins.

At the Division of Human Genetics, using a cheek swab sam¬ple of your DNA we can help you under-stand your genetic ancestry.

For an appointment please contact:

Rajeshree Mahabeer
Room 149
Watkins Pitchford Building
Division of Human Genetics,
National Health Laboratory Service, 
Cnr of DeKorte and Hospital Streets
Braamfontein
Johannesburg
2000
Tel: (011) 489-9237
Email:rajeshree.mahabeer@nhls.ac.za