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What is a Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP)?

Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) refers to a single nucleotide change in the DNA. For example, when an "A" changes to a "T", or when a "C" changes to a "G", etc. The rate of SNP mutations is usually quite low compared to STR mutations, so SNPs are often used to trace “deep ancestry”, ancestry from thousands of years ago.  SNP markers in Y-DNA and mtDNA are used to determine an individual's Y-DNA and mtDNA haplogroup and subclade.  Haplogroups and subclades are ancient family groups which can be traced to a common root in Africa over 100,000 years ago.  

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