Improved models of coalescence ages of Y-DNA haplogroups

Iain McDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Databases of commercial DNA-testing companies now contain more customers with sequenced DNA than any completed academic study, leading to growing interest from academic and forensic entities. An important result for both these entities and the test takers themselves is how closely two individuals are related in time, as calculated through one or more molecular clocks. For Y-DNA, existing interpretations of these clocks are insufficiently accurate to usefully measure relatedness in historic times. In this article, I update the methods used to calculate coalescence ages (times to most-recent common ancestor, or TMRCAs) using a new, probabilistic statistical model that includes Y-SNP, Y-STR and ancilliary historical data, and provide examples of its use.
Original languageEnglish
Article number862
Number of pages28
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • human Y chromosome
  • molecular clock
  • male history
  • time estimation


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