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Thread: Question > Big Y vs. Y-111

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    Question > Big Y vs. Y-111

    I was in a discussion with a friend a while ago and they questioned the benefits of Big Y vs Y-111.

    As few genetic relatives have done both for my father I was sort of stumped on the benefits. He did it more out of curiosity than anything but still, something would be nice for the cash spent.



    However, maybe someone would be so generous as to explain the differences between the two tests.

    Which would be considered more accurate?

    I believe Big Y is more to recent ancestry correct? Y-111 is more to ancestral ancestry.


    So if let's say a Y-111 relative doesn't show up on the Big Y we'd take that as being far, far back in the family tree?


    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Calas; 03-24-2017 at 09:49 AM.

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    That's an interesting question for me also to hear the answer to, possibly in the future might want to look into my YDNA result, as it seems very rare for a Welsh person.
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    Big Y is more accurate for any use. Your 111-m. matches can be false because of homoplazy sometimes, they can't always determine your subclade precisely. When you do Big Y and upload your BAM-file onto YFull, you get an ability to see a strict (+-) TMRCA between you and your matches. New subclades can also be discovered this way.

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    I should really wait for someone more knowledgeable than myself, but as I have had both Y111 and the Big Y, I would say that you have it the wrong way around. They are very different tests. The Y111 tests for 111 STRs (Short Tandem Repeats), literally stutters in a strand of DNA. It is the top end of STRs. Most people start with a lower marker STR test such as the Y37. That lists the first 37 STRs. Then it compares your STRs to other's in the database, and then proposes cousins on the Y line. However, the confidence is low on a low marker test. As you increase the number of STRs tested up to Y111, the confidence increases, but the number of proposed Y cousins will decrease.

    The Y111 also gives you a predicted haplogroup, by aligning your STR results with others of a known haplogroup.

    A Big Y is a different kettle of fish. When a company such as 23andMe or Living DNA tests the Y, they simply test it against a series of known SNPs (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms) on their chip. The Big Y however, is exploratory. It finds your known Y SNPs, AND your novel (previously unrecorded) SNPs. Incidentally it also finds your mtDNA and all of your STRs. However, they strip the mtDNA data off of the report, and in order to reveal your STR data, you need a third party company (such as YFull) to analyse the raw data. So the Big Y gives you everything. The problem is, that FT-DNA realise that if you buy the Big Y, then you'll have ALL of your STR data available, and wont need to buy any STR tests. So they rather insist that you cannot order a Big Y until you first complete at least a low marker STR test. The price goes up. There are other businesses that supply exploratory Y SNP tests to the public, such as Full Genome Corp at competitive prices. However, FT-DNA has the big database, and the Projects (including haplogroup, geographical, and surname projects).

    A third test on the Y that FT-DNA supply are SNP packs, available to STR testers, that rather like the 23andMe and Living DNA tests, examines your Y against a series of known SNPs for your predicted haplogroup. Again, other businesses also supply competitively priced SNP packs.

    You had it the wrong way around. STR tests such as Y111 predict more recent cousins. The Big Y gives the longer proven story. It also gives you your proven sub clade, which updates as more novel SNPs turn up in other tests.
    Last edited by A Norfolk L-M20; 03-24-2017 at 11:25 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A Norfolk L-M20 View Post
    I should really wait for someone more knowledgeable than myself, but as I have had both Y111 and the Big Y, I would say that you have it the wrong way around. They are very different tests. The Y111 tests for 111 STRs (Single Tandem Repeats), literally stutters in a strand of DNA. It is the top end of STRs. Most people start with a lower marker STR test such as the Y37. That lists the first 37 STRs. Then it compares your STRs to other's in the database, and then proposes cousins on the Y line. However, the confidence is low on a low marker test. As you increase the number of STRs tested up to Y111, the confidence increases, but the number of proposed Y cousins will decrease.

    The Y111 also gives you a predicted haplogroup, by aligning your STR results with others of a known haplogroup.

    A Big Y is a different kettle of fish. When a company such as 23andMe or Living DNA tests the Y, they simply test it against a series of known SNPs (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms) on their chip. The Big Y however, is exploratory. It finds your known Y SNPs, AND your novel (previously unrecorded) SNPs. Incidentally it also finds your mtDNA and all of your STRs. However, they strip the mtDNA data off of the report, and in order to reveal your STR data, you need a third party company (such as YFull) to analyse the raw data. So the Big Y gives you everything. The problem is, that FT-DNA realise that if you buy the Big Y, then you'll have ALL of your STR data available, and wont need to buy any STR tests. So they rather insist that you cannot order a Big Y until you first complete at least a low marker STR test. The price goes up. There are other businesses that supply exploratory Y SNP tests to the public, such as Full Genome Corp at competitive prices. However, FT-DNA has the big database, and the Projects (including haplogroup, geographical, and surname projects).

    A third test on the Y that FT-DNA supply are SNP packs, available to STR testers, that rather like the 23andMe and Living DNA tests, examines your Y against a series of known SNPs for your predicted haplogroup. Again, other businesses also supply competitively priced SNP packs.

    You had it the wrong way around. STR tests such as Y111 predict more recent cousins. The Big Y gives the longer proven story. It also gives you your proven sub clade, which updates as more novel SNPs turn up in other tests.
    That's not bad a summary and you got the most important point across which is that sequencing tests like Y Elite (FGC) and BigY (FTDNA) will locate all known types of variant including STRs, SNPs and INDELS. SNP matching always trumps STR matching for *accuracy*. The only debate is whether it also trumps STR testing alone for *resolution* and unfortunately you won't know until you do it. There is a fair amount of variation in how recent your most recent NGS SNP turns out to be. But personally I think this is a moot point since you will get typically 400+ STRs out of an NGS test and YFull will do matching with those as well as its separate and superior (accurate) SNP matching.
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    I have done BigY and Y111 and here is my 5 cents:

    Y111 will give you a good estimate on the number of generations between you and your matches - but FTDNA is often too optimistic as I see it. It will NOT in any way match you to a certain person in the past.

    If you have taken a BigY and if you are in the lucky situation that just a few near matches have also done so (or have been convinced into doing so), you know your "private" SNPs and can map any SNP to a well determined relative. With just a few close BigY's and some intellectual work, you can actually place people on your DNA tree with just one or two Yseq.net single SNP tests at 17.50 USD a piece.

    Example:

    I initially had a perfect 37/37 match at FTDNA (my only Y37 match at all!). We both had extensive genealogy going back to 1590/1665 on our paternal lines but could not find the match (TIP said 97,28% chance of common ancestor at 8 generations).
    Both upgrading to Y111 gave us a 107/111 match (but now only a 88,58% chance of common ancestor at 8 generations).
    So that did not really help us.

    We then both did BigY and ended up in a branch far below previously known SNPs (28 shared "private" SNPs below BY3604!) and both with 2 "private" SNPs that the other one did not have. I am now testing the known newer (paper trail) branches of my partenal line for those SNPs at Yseq and will soon be able to match any of these two SNPs to a distinct ancestor. Any very near match only has to test for those two SNPs (still at 17.50 USD a piece at Yseq) and I can tell exactly which of the ancestors he descents from.

    Uploading our BigY to Yfull.com also gave an estimate of a common ancestor around the year 1650, so we are just 1-2 generations from finding our common ancestor by the paper trail, but with my ancestors being very poor people, sources are scarce and I doubt we will ever succeed.

    Later, we got a match at 101/111 on Y111 (my second match above Y25) and we convinced (by splitting the bill in thirds) this match to take a BigY. His BigY just came in, and split the 28 "private" SNPs between me and my first match into 24 shared SNPs among the three of us and then 4 SNPs between the new match and the first two of us. The age estimate of the common ancestor between the new match and the first two of us is around year 1300, so no chance of documenting the paper trail. But we now know that people who can test postive for any of the 4 SNPs between him and us have branched out from our tree between the years 1300 and 1650.

    And just this week we got a new 37/37 match (at Y37) - if we can convince him to take a BigY too, we will all get more knowledge of our closest DNA tree...

    So I thing BigY gives much better results than Y111, if you are lucky enough to have other near matches who have taken BigY and if you are willing to spend some time looking at the data ("private" and shared SNPs).

    When I get the time, I will draw a figure illustrating all the SNP talk above.

    Kind regards
    Anders

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    It also depends on what you want to know. STR tests such as the Y111 are purely genealogical, for matches, and a predicted haplogroup. Exploratory Y-DNA tests such the Big Y will tell you far, far more about your Y-DNA, ancient, and global patterns. It grows as more people explore and add to the database. Hence there has been an explosion in the Y Tree over the past few years, and ISOGG have to update the branches every year, adding new branches, as more novel SNPs start to match. The other strength - particular to the Big Y, are the Projects and their voluntary administrators.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Calas View Post
    . . .

    Which would be considered more accurate?
    They are both accurate for what they do. The 111-marker test gives you 111 Short Tandem Repeat markers. The Big Y gives you 11.5 to 12.5 million base-pairs of mapped positions of the non-recombining y chromosome, identifying Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms.

    Quote Originally Posted by Calas View Post
    I believe Big Y is more to recent ancestry correct? Y-111 is more to ancestral ancestry.
    Just the opposite. The 111-marker test is generally better for matches within genealogical time, say, 300 years or so.

    The Big Y can be good for that, too. Close Big Y matches can share a relatively recent set of SNPs unique to a set of relatives within genealogical time, some of them unique to a particular family and surname.

    Quote Originally Posted by Calas View Post
    So if let's say a Y-111 relative doesn't show up on the Big Y we'd take that as being far, far back in the family tree?

    Thanks in advance.
    I guess it depends on what you mean by "a Y-111 relative". Thus far only two of my 111-marker matches have Big Y results. The two of them are also my closest Big Y matches thus far.

    Another member of my haplotype cluster who is a little more distant at 111 markers (100/111, if I recall correctly) and does not show up as a 111-marker match on my FTDNA Y-DNA Matches pages is yet my third closest Big Y match, after the other two I mentioned above.

    Oleg mentioned homoplasy (convergence) above. Convergence is not much of a problem at 111 markers. It is more of a problem at fewer markers. At 12 markers it is a huge problem. At 25 it is still big. At 37 it's still a problem but not as great as at 25 and 12. At 67 it is much less a problem, especially for very close matches, but still something to be reckoned with.

    The advantage to the 111-marker test is that the Big Y is still too expensive to be inviting for most men. That limits the potential for finding matches. The 111-marker test is on the upper limit of what the average man is willing to spend for y-dna testing, but it is still possible to talk many of them into it.

    The 111-marker test has been a godsend for me. I have gotten quite a few really good, close, meaningful same-surname matches, matches that have really helped me make genealogical progress that would not have been possible otherwise. I realize that is not the experience of every man. There are some with 111 STR markers and zero matches. Just the same, I think the test is worth doing. Unless one gets into the database, he has no chance of ever getting any matches or of finding anything out. 111 markers with zero matches now may turn into 111 markers with that one important match a year or two from now, especially if one is proactive and attempts to persuade potential relatives to test and lower level matches to upgrade to more markers.

    Of course, if one submits his Big Y BAM file to YFull, he will eventually get around 500 or more STR markers that way, although it takes awhile. However, one cannot order a Big Y test without having first gotten some kind of STR test from FTDNA, even if it is only for 12 markers.
    Last edited by rms2; 03-24-2017 at 11:34 AM.

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    Also a reminder for the OP and others, there is an M222 project at YFull run by two most excellent and skilled individuals

    https://www.yfull.com/groups/r-m222/...-join-request/

    Be there or be square.

    :-)
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    Quote Originally Posted by rms2 View Post

    Oleg mentioned homoplasy (convergence) above. Convergence is not much of a problem at 111 markers. It is more of a problem at fewer markers. At 12 markers it is a huge problem. At 25 it is still big. At 37 it's still a problem but not as great as at 25 and 12. At 67 it is much less a problem, especially for very close matches, but still something to be reckoned with.
    I agree but as a minor caveat in some haplogroups such as M222 it's a huge problem even at 67 markers. I've seen a M222+ individual who had 1400+ matches at 67 markers, via SNP testing he was DF85+/DF97+, some of his closer matches were in branches where seperation date was on order of 1500 years ago! (eg. he had A259 and A1206 matches with GD of under 7).

    I do think though that M222 is rather unique in this regard given how big a haplogroup it is.
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