Improved models of coalescence ages of Y-DNA haplogroups

McDonald, Iain (2021) Improved models of coalescence ages of Y-DNA haplogroups. Genes, 12 (6). 862. ISSN 2073-4425 (

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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.