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Marker Mutation Rates

This page is about the mutation rates of Y-STR markers used in genetic genealogy.

Rates Vary

Markers are not created equal -- especially as to their propensities to change. A one-step mutation on DYS426, for example, is one-tenth as likely as one on DYS437. And, both are considered slow markers by FTDNA.

It should be noted that the available data is only for average mutation rates; no authoritative data has been found for variances above and below those averages. However, informal observation suggests that the variances in rates are relatively wide, so caution is advised in application.

Why variances are important: Statisticians need two pieces of data to make good predictions. (1) An average or mean provides the most likely value, and (2) The variance (or standard deviation) is used to calculate the confidence which can be placed in the prediction. Without a variance, it is impossible to say how much confidence should be put on the prediction.

Rates

The charts below order  STR markers in order of mutation rates, from lowest to highest.

The median rate of the markers for which we've found data (by no means all) is 0.0226 or about 1:442 transmission events.

"Slow" Markers
DYS
name
Mutation
Rate
Per TE log
rate
DYS426 0.00009 11,111.1 -4.05
DYS454 0.00016 6,250.0 -3.80
DYS455 0.00016 6,250.0 -3.80
DYS388 0.00022 4,545.5 -3.66
DYS392 0.00052 1,923.1 -3.28
DYS438 0.00055 1,818.2 -3.26
DYS393 0.00076 1,315.8 -3.12
DYS437 0.00099 1,010.1 -3.00
YCAII 0.00123 813.0 -2.91
DYS459 0.00132 757.6 -2.88
DYS448 0.00135 740.7 -2.87
DYS19 0.00151 662.3 -2.82
DYS394 0.00151 662.3 -2.82
DYS389i 0.00186 537.6 -2.73
Y-GATA-H4 0.00208 480.8 -2.68
"Fast" Markers
DYS
name
Mutation
Rate
Per TE log
rate
DYS385 0.00226 442.5 -2.65
DYS389ii 0.00242 413.2 -2.62
DYS447 0.00264 378.8 -2.58
DYS391 0.00265 377.4 -2.58
DYS390 0.00311 321.5 -2.51
DYS442 0.00324 308.6 -2.49
DYS460 0.00402 248.8 -2.40
DYS607 0.00411 243.3 -2.39
DYS439 0.00477 209.6 -2.32
DYS464 0.00566 176.7 -2.25
DYS456 0.00735 136.1 -2.13
DYS570 0.00790 126.6 -2.10
DYS458 0.00814 122.9 -2.09
DYS449 0.00838 119.3 -2.08
DYS576 0.01022 97.8 -1.99
CDY 0.03531 28.3 -1.45

Markers for which rate data not found:
DXYS156, DYF371, DYF385S1,  DYF395S1, DYF397, DYF399, DYF401, DYF406S1, DYF408, DYF411, DYS413, DYS425, DYS434, DYS435, DYS436, DYS441, DYS443, DYS444, DYS445, DYS446, DYS450, DYS452, DYS453, DYS461, DYS462, DYS463, DYS481, DYS485, DYS487, DYS490, DYS494, DYS495, DYS497, DYS504, DYS505, DYS508, DYS520, DYS522, DYS525, DYS531, DYS532, DYS533, DYS534, DYS540, DYS549, DYS556, DYS557, DYS565, DYS572, DYS573, DYS575, DYS578, DYS589, DYS590, DYS594, DYS612, DYS614, DYS626, DYS632, DYS635, DYS636, DYS638, DYS641, DYS643, DYS710, DYS714, DYS716, DYS717, DYS725, DYS726, Y-GATA-A10, Y-GATA-C4, and Y-GGAAT-1B07.


Sources

We have used the following sources to compile this information: