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Thread: Big Y vs Full Genomes

  1. #1
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    Big Y vs Full Genomes

    I'd be interested to hear what peoples views are on this topic, DNA Day is coming up and if FTDNA do the same discount that they did last year I would be able to afford a Big Y test. I'm R-L2 with no matches and so it would be interesting to see what next gen sequencing would show.

    I've been doing a bit of comparing of Full Genomes Y Elite with Big Y and it seems that the main difference (other than price) is that Y Elite covers more of the chromosome.

    So my main question is what do you favour out of the two and why?
    Paternal Y-DNA: U152>L2>BY3508>L135>BY3506 Estimated age of BY3506: 500BC
    Most Distant Known Paternal Ancestor: Patrick Dillon, born around 1790 somewhere in Ireland (possibly County Mayo). Some of his descendants later moved to Manchester, England between the 1820s and 30s.

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  3. #2
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    The current situation with Y-DNA testing is frustrating. One company refuses to upgrade their product while the other struggles with throughput. I went with FGC because the Y-DNA tree can only be defined to the fullest by the best available test at any given time. Also, I am on a very sparsely populated limb of the tree.
    R-P312/S116 > L21/S145 > DF13 > Z39589 > A4556 > 2777444-T-C

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  5. #3
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    I ve ordered both. At the time there was a significant price difference between the two but now not so much. If I was ordering at this time I would go with fgc
    Y DNA line continued: Z142>Z12222>FGC12378>FGC12401>FGC12384
    37% English, 26% Scot/Ulster Scot, 14% Welsh, 14% German, 3% Ireland, 3% Nordic, 2% French/Dutch, 1% India
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  7. #4
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    I went with Full Genomes Corp before Big Y was announced. I am the only L226 tester out of 48 NGS testers that used FGC vs. Big Y. I have 12 private YSNPs that Big Y does not test, so there is a real difference in YDNA coverage. I think there needs to be a small mixture of higher coverage FGC tests mixed in with primarily Big Y tests. I think it should be around 5 to 10 % of the NGS tests need to be FGC tests to uncover more older major branches. However, these FGC tests should not be random. They need to be either be very close to each other (to maximize private YSNPs that define branches within a surname cluster) or near the trunk of the tree (the bottleneck where most of the private YSNPs are stuck at).

    With L226, around one third of the private YSNPs are stuck with no new major branches other than my original FGC test - FGC5660 > FGC5628 > FGC5659 > FGC5639. The only downside of FGC, they can be painfully slow some times but will provide around 10 to 20 % more private YSNPs to test than Big Y which worth the wait for the more serious testers. Also, you need to have a strategy of testing your private YSNPs as well. Just waiting for more Big Y results to reveal branches is very costly and rarely reveal genealogical time frame YSNPs.

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  9. #5
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    I've tested twice with FGC now (Y Elite and WGS), it took longer but the wait was worth it - my branch defining SNPs aren't even on the BigY.
    YSEQ:#37; YFull: YF01405 (Y Elite 2013)
    WGS (Full Genomes Nov 2015, YSEQ Feb 2019, Dante Mar 2019, FGC-10X Linked Reads Apr 2019, Dante-Nanopore May 2019, Chronomics Jan 2020, Sano Genetics Feb 2020, Nebula Genomics June 2020)
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  11. #6
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    A clue to the value of these products is in their names.... Big Y and Full Genomes.

    It implies (and quite rightly so) that Big < Full.

    I have done both. Full Genomes offers quantity and quality but at the expense of time taken, whereas Big Y costs less and is relatively quick but has less coverage of the Y chromosome.

    You'll certainly get more SNPs/$ with Full Genomes.

    Clinton P
    • FullGenomes ID:....FG1048A
    • YFull ID :...............YF01371 & YF02740

    y-DNA
    Hg: R-U106 > Z2265 > BY30097 > FGC3861 > Z8053 > S1855 > S1859 > FGC3883........
    Shorthand: R-FGC3883


    mt-DNA
    Hg: H2a2b
    Extra Mutations: 309.1'C', 315.1'C', A16235'G', T16357'C', C16519'T'.

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  13. #7
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    Great, thanks for all the replies, so it looks like saving for a bit longer for Full Genomes is better in the long run.
    Paternal Y-DNA: U152>L2>BY3508>L135>BY3506 Estimated age of BY3506: 500BC
    Most Distant Known Paternal Ancestor: Patrick Dillon, born around 1790 somewhere in Ireland (possibly County Mayo). Some of his descendants later moved to Manchester, England between the 1820s and 30s.

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  15. #8
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    I was one of the first Y-Elite 1.0 participants, and have had no regrets, other than the price I had paid compared with the price Full Genomes currently offers for Y-Elite 2.1.

    I ordered Big Y for my maternal uncle, only because I wasn't able to afford another Y-Elite test, and I was too lazy to arrange the collection of a third DNA sample from him. (The first two were for 23andMe and FTDNA respectively). If I could afford it, I would have ordered the 30x WGS from Full Genomes for everyone. But on the same note, I'd prefer read lengths that exceed 500 or even 10,000 bases, so it's perhaps best to put it off.

    Right now, Big Y uses read lengths between 150 to 165 nucleotides, and Y-Elite 2.x is well over 200, striving towards 250. Longer read lengths, along with increased depth of coverage, help significantly with increasing the number and accuracy of STRs that can be analyzed.

    Y-Elite is better than Big-Y in nearly every respect except price and processing time.

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  17. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by VinceT View Post
    ...
    I ordered Big Y for my maternal uncle, only because I wasn't able to afford another Y-Elite test, and I was too lazy to arrange the collection of a third DNA sample from him..
    This is the convenience factor.

    So beyond except price and processing time you must add convenience.

    Y-Elite appears to very good, so please don't take this as a dis on Y-Elite, but Big Y has something else, or rather FTDNA does.

    FTDNA has a large customer set with a fairly comprehensive product line and DNA storage. This provides two other advantages for Big Y, besides the convenience advantage and you get a stronger matching database.

    General academic research of the the ancient branching is one thing, but for most of us, it does not matter what test you take if other people related to you don't get measured at the same places in the same methods. Genetic genealogy is built on the relative comparison method. There is no getting around this. This neuters the Y-Elite coverage advantages for the average consumers.

    It is key to plan out how you will get others to test who are potentially related to you. It is a team sport.

    Actually, there is another advantage for Big Y beyond the four cited here. That advantage is an early feeder of SNPs into a broader set of consumer SNP packs/panels. I think we all want to get our youthful SNPs tested by as many people as possible.

    More to add on the pro's and con's is the company factor. FTDNA has stood the test of time and competition. They are accessible in courts and have something to lose. They won't merely disband and go bankrupt if faced with a problem. FTDNA is most likely to be here tomorrow. Others may not. What are the succession plans, etc.? A con is FTDNA service is not personal, that's for sure. Their customer communications are poor.

    Summary of Big Y advantages.
    1. Lower price
    2. Faster test processing time
    3. Convenience
    4. Size and access to the matching database (using the same testing method/coverage)
    5. Early feeder of your SNPs into a broader set of offerings
    6. Better prospects as a proven on-going, self-funding concern
    Last edited by TigerMW; 04-13-2016 at 01:32 PM.

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  19. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikewww View Post
    This is the convenience factor.

    FTDNA has a large customer set with a fairly comprehensive product line and DNA storage. This provides two other advantages for Big Y, besides the convenience advantage and you get a stronger matching database.
    Surely you mean stronger mis-matching database.

    Clinton P
    • FullGenomes ID:....FG1048A
    • YFull ID :...............YF01371 & YF02740

    y-DNA
    Hg: R-U106 > Z2265 > BY30097 > FGC3861 > Z8053 > S1855 > S1859 > FGC3883........
    Shorthand: R-FGC3883


    mt-DNA
    Hg: H2a2b
    Extra Mutations: 309.1'C', 315.1'C', A16235'G', T16357'C', C16519'T'.

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