458.2 A New Hope

As a quick recap. My Y DNA testing at Ancestry.com showed that I have an odd marker at DYS458. Where most people have a solid number like 16, I have decimal number like 16.2 The way the .2 happens was explained to me this way: “You have 16 repeats of 458 this DYS458=N.2 is the result of an AA-insert within the repeat section.” I was also told that matches would continue to have the microallele even though they may have a different whole number. So a match who was 16.2 could mutate up to 17.2 and the microallele would remain.

At SMGF (who runs tests for Ancestry.com) the percentage of men with DYS458 of 16.2 is 0.150%. 17.2 is at 0.531%. So we’re talking about less than one percent of men in their database.

You can see some of my past checking into the 458.2 in a previous post.

Since that posting, as you might see in my comments, I’ve transferred to FTDNA and had SNP testing done there. It has been interesting to see that many of my 16.2 matches have family over at FTDNA who match me and still more interesting to see that a few of those have also tested as Z18 positive like me. I’m particularly excited to see familiar names like the Elmers, Knowltons and Damerons who have been placed in the Cumberland cluster of the Z18 project along with me.

So what is this new hope?

At the DNA Newbies forum I saw someone answer a post by using their microallele discussion with FTDNA as an example. They have a microallele that helps define their cluster in their surname project. That would certainly be true for me if my surname was not so common and I had any matches at all among Thompsons. I don’t have that, but I do have a haplogroup and a cluster within that.

What was so hopeful about it was that they routinely communicate with FTDNA to check to see if new members have this same microallele. It’s enough of a part of the process that they use it to determine matches. So FTDNA doesn’t display microalleles, but it knows about them and can confirm them.

To test out this theory, I took a ringer (my Elmer match) who has a known 16.2 carrying relative at SMGF and asked him to see if he could ask FTDNA specifically if he had a value of 16.2 at DYS458. He agreed and he did ask. Within a few days they answered back that they were able to confirm it.


So now I’ve asked a few more ringers who have family members tested at both places and a few people who are matches at FTDNA that I don’t know about, to see how they turn out. My end goal would be to see if this is something common to Z18 as a whole or if it’s something common to the Cumberland cluster or if it could be used to further break the cluster down into smaller groups of individuals that share that same microallele.

No matter what it is great to get a confirmation for this microallele on that Elmer match because we are so close.

Leave a Reply