Different types of DNA tests and their purposes

Different types of DNA tests and their purposes

Deoxyribonucleic acid or otherwise known as DNA is the basic genetic material that differentiates one person from the other and one species from the other. Every single living organism whether small such as bacteria and viruses or large such as human beings and other animals have their specific DNA sequences which gives them their unique characteristics.

DNA is the basic and most unique structural entity of a person’s genome which plays a significant role in a person’s existence and well-being. Specific sequences of the DNA base pairs are what make people unique and different from each other. Body shape, health, mindset and other matter important matters such as the color of the eyes and hair are totally dependent upon the genomic material which is DNA.

DNA is present in every single in an organism’s body and chromosomes are the basic structural units of DNA which are arranged in the form of pairs and are uniquely integrated together for every person. The specific arrangement of these chromosomes determines whether a person is going to be male or a female. DNA is a hereditary material which can also be the cause of many diseases such as sickle-cell pneumonia, diabetes, cancer, heart and brain disorders, etc. These properties are transferred to a person from the ancestral lines for example from a father and mother to their off-springs.

There are tests available that study these specific characteristics of a person’s ancestral line and can determine a lot about that person’s life.

DNA tests

The different DNA tests explore a specific location in a person’s genome and they have gotten widespread acceptability. These tests are done for genealogical purposes and can tell a lot about a person’s ancestors and his own personality.

Types of DNA tests

There are three different types of DNA tests that are performed for different purposes.

  1. Autosomal DNA testing
  2. Y-Chromosome DNA Testing
  3. mtDNA testing

In this context, we are going to take a look at each of the above tests, their procedures and their findings.

Autosomal DNA testing

Autosomal DNA testing means taking a look at the chromosomes pair from 1-22 and X-chromosome. These chromosomes are called autosomal chromosomes and can be important in providing information about a person’s ethnicity and other related matters.


The test is started by taking a DNA sample from the person whose DNA is to be tested. This sample can be taken from any part of the body and does not require and blood sample or any other painful infestation. To take a sample, all you have to is provide the Buccal swab to the service providers and they will proceed it further.

This DNA is sample is used to take a precise look at the autosomal chromosomes which are inherited from both parents, grand and great-grandparents.


The findings of this test can interpret the results for three or more than three generations. This test takes a look at the sample DNA and other DNAs that present in the database. The results are compared and if the two samples show similar structural properties, they are most likely to be relatives. Every person whether male or female receives an X-chromosome from both parents and only fathers can transfer the second X-chromosome and as a result of this chromosome pairing a girl is born.

mtDNA (Mitochondrial) testing

The DNA material present in the Mitochondria, which is an important component of a cell, is known as Mitochondrial DNA. This test is focused on the DNA present in Mitochondria which is transferred from mother to child.


This test is performed by taking a sample in the same way as above and the test is carried out in a different way from the above. Different regions of the mtDNA such as HRV1 and HRV2 are tested and the results are compared with the results of other individuals.


As the mtDNA is transferred from mother to her offspring, this test can provide information about the maternal line. This test is focused on finding the ancestry line and can connect the results to about 50 generations if the genome is matched.

Y-DNA (Y chromosome) testing

This test focuses on the Y chromosome of the human genome and can only tell about the paternal ancestry line of the test taker.


After taking a buccal swab, Y chromosome of the person is tested and different markers such as STRs and SNPs are examined in order to give the final results.


As Y chromosome is inherited from father to son, this test can only tell about the paternal line of a child. This test gives information about the most recent ancestors and can extend to generations in the paternal line.

The DNA testing can be used in a number of ways such as estimating ethnicity, finding ancestors, genealogical research, and in many other crime-related matters.

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