Slovenian haplotrees up to genetic Adam and Eve

There is a great piece of news to share: the first 50 Slovenians are shown on a phylogenetic tree after DNA testing. We have simplified the Adam’s and Eve’s trees and even gave the names to founders of genetic tribes.

A few days ago, a new Slovenian portal for genetic genealogy has been established to help genealogists in their research. The first 50 Slovenians are shown on a phylogenetic tree after DNA testing.  The portal named GENES shows simplified global phylogenetic trees of the mitochondrial and Y chromosome DNA testing results for 50 Slovenians, who have been also verified for their grandparents’ origin by their pedigree charts published at Family Tree DNA portal, which host Slovenian origin project.
Those who tested their Y chromosome, are shown on Adam’s tree, as this test is possible only for men, who inherit Y-chromosomes from their fathers. By rule of Mother Nature, Y-chromosome remains unchanged while passing through generations. So, testing a man today unlocks a secret of his affiliation to the original tribe, in which a founding man lived hundreds thousand years ago. In genetic genealogy, descendants of this man are called a haplogroup, which has been marked by letters A to Z. For the Slovenian Y haplotree a minimal reference phylogeny for the human Y chromosome has been used. This unique system of ISOGG enables each modern nation to give those Adam’s sons names in their language. In the Slovenian haplotree, the sons of genetic Adam are: Anton, Blaž, Ciril, Dominik, Ernest, Frančišek, Gregor, Henrik, Izidor, Janez, Klemen, Lovrenc, Matija, Nikolaj, Ožbolt, Peter, Quirin, Rupert, Simon, Tomaž, Urban, Vid, Walter, Xander, Yanik, and Zaharija.

Those who tested “Big Y”, which gives a piece of final haplotype information to the man, are for now 15 out of 50 in the tree. If in the future this number is increased, Slovenians will receive better information about their prehistoric tribes. Having got this information, an individual man can place himself on the global YFull tree, which contains almost 100,000 branches. He will receive information about his specific little branch. The whole tree can’t even be well presented to the public. Specialists understand it, but not the general public. So, creating a Slovenian haplotree enables the tested man to find himself in the neighbourhood of others of Slovenian origin, as only those haplotypes are shown,  which are represented by testing result of Slovenian origin. Some foreign origin ypsilons are shown for comparison, how connected European nations are when we come to the prehistoric origin.

Human migrations from prahistoric times with indicated development of mtDNA haplogroups (A-Z and colour routes in time-scale of 1000 years before present; source: ISOGG Wiki)

Just equally to the paternal line, also a maternal direct line can be traced back into prehistoric times by testing of mitochondrial DNA, which we have in each cell independently of gender. So both, men and women can test their mtDNA, which unlocks a secret of their affiliation to the original tribe, in which a founding woman lived hundreds thousand years ago. Popularly she is called genetic Eve. By rule of Mother Nature, mitochondria of a newborn life come from a mother’s egg, to which a father contributes only genetic material.

Mitochondrial DNA  is a circular genome, contained in several copies in each cell, and remains unchanged while passing through generations, as they do not recombine.  In genetic genealogy, descendants of this first discovered woman, whose receipt for mitochondria is still in use today, are called a haplogroup. The haplogroups have been also marked by letters A to Z, as each of Eve’s daughter changed the mother’s receipt for mitochondria in single letters before passing to their sons and daughters. When the sons became fathers, they can’t share their mitochondria to a newborn life (with some rare exceptions). When the daughters became mothers, they passed their receipt for mitochondria unchanged to the next generations of children. But some daughters again changed their receipt for mitochondria in single letters before passing to their children. These changes are called mutations and are inherited by descendants, who form further branches in Eve’s haplotree. Until now, 170,000 mtFull sequences have been added to global mtDNA haplotree, from 180 countries. Though it is of utmost importance to show on Slovenian tree matches of Slovenian origin (see geographic map of mtDNA donors’ origin), which fall for sure into several international clusters on a global tree.  

The unique system of ISOGG in naming the haplogroups enables each modern nation to give those Eve’s founding daughters names in their language. In the Slovenian Eve’s haplotree, the daughters of genetic Eve are: Ana, Barbara, Cecilija, Doroteja, Elizabeta, Frančiška, Gabrijela, Helena, Irena, Jera, Katja, Lucija, Marija, Nika, Olivija, Queen, Rebeka, Sara, Terezija, Uršula, Helena Vera, Vesna, Wendi, Ksenija, Yvona, and Zora.

Some of these names are not Slovenian, as the Slovenian alphabet does not contain letters Q, W, X and Y, so foreign names have been used, which indicates Slovenian’s nature: we have always been open to foreigners, who came to our tribes to live and work. We hope that those personalised trees will bring more Slovenians to test. Which means also hope for those, who are seeking a missing paternal or maternal link from Slovenia, to find a matching man or women.

The design and the outlook of Adam’s and Eve’s trees have been developed by Slovenian knowledge of Dr Uroš Ocepek, who is developing useful web-tools for genealogy in portals Genes, PriRod and Zagorje Tree. Most data for Genes come from FamilyTreeDNA, but also from other testing sources like National Geographic, even an old test result from Ancestry, and modern whole-genome-sequencing labs. He cooperates with different content developers, who are all genealogists, like himself. In case of Genes and PriRod this is Vlasta Knapič, who is also a founder of “Slovenian origin” project hosted by FamilyTreeDNA portal and author of geographic maps with data on Y and mtDNA haplotypes. Both, Dr Uroš Ocepek and Vlasta Knapič are active members of Slovenian Genealogy Society.

Sources of information:

van Oven M, Van Geystelen A, Kayser M, Decorte R, Larmuseau MH (2014). Seeing the wood for the trees: a minimal reference phylogeny for the human Y chromosome. Hum Mutat 35(2):187-191. doi:10.1002/humu.22468; web
Mannis van Oven (2016) – mtDNA tree Build