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Georgia State University

Generators for Generations: Online databases for mtDNA

Electron microscope view of mitochondrial section

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) produces energy for a cell, and children inherit their mtDNA from their mother.  Online databases for human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) are useful for:

  • Genealogists to find family connections
  • Anthropologists to map historical migration patterns and ancient origins
  • Physicians to identify mtDNA diseases
  • Forensic scientists to help identify remains

MitoSearch contains over 32,000 HVR1 haplotypes of people who tested mostly with FamilyTreeDNA, and allows input of results from other DNA testing companies.

SMGF Mitochondrial Database contains over 73,000 HVR1 haplotypes of participants who tested with the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation.

GenBank contains over 7,900 human full sequences maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information.  Simplified search instructions are available here.

The benefits of mtDNA testing for genealogy are detailed in Megan Smolenyak and Ann Turner’s Trace your roots with DNA. This is one of many works included in The International Society of Genetic Genealogy‘s (ISOGG’s) bibliography of books on genetic genealogy and deep ancestry.