Family Tree DNA have just announced at their conference the introduction of a new Y-chromosome DNA test to be known as the Big Y. The new test uses next generation sequencing technology which is much more reliable for the Y-chromosome than the chip testing used for the Geno 2.0 test from the Genographic Project and the Chromo 2 test from BritainsDNA. The Big Y is intended as a replacement for the Walk through the Y test which used the slower and much more expensive Sanger sequencing technology.
The Big Y test covers 10 million base pairs. It will provide results for almost 25,000 of the known Y-SNPs. However the exciting part is that this test can also be used for SNP discovery, opening up the tantalising possibility of finding SNPs that will prove to be unique to a particular surname lineage or an individual branch of a family tree.
The introductory price of the new test is $499 (£311). The selling price from 1st December will be $695 (£434). The test currently only seems to be available to existing customers, but it may that the FTDNA home page hasn't yet been updated. There is now a new splash page on the personal pages of male FTDNA customers.
No doubt further information will be forthcoming in due course from the people who have attended the conference. It has been possible to pick up quite a bit of the news from the conference tweets (search on Twitter using the hashtag #FTDNA2013).
Details of all the other currently available SNP tests can be found on the ISOGG Y-SNP testing comparison chart. This will now need to be updated to include details of the new Big Y test.
In other news from the conference it would appear that the Genographic Project will be introducing a new Geno test within the next seven to 12 months. It may be that the next Geno test will also use next generation sequencing technology.
A set of FAQs on the Big Y test are now available on the FTDNA website at: www.familytreedna.com/faq/answers.aspx?id=27
The ISOGG Y-SNP testing comparison chart in the ISOGG Wiki has now been updated to incorporate details of the new Big Y test.
Roberta Estes has advised on her blog that results from the Big Y will be delivered in 10-12 weeks and the results will be accompanied by comparison tools. See her blog post here.
Jennifer Zinck has provided a very nice detailed summary of the first day of the FTDNA conference with further information on the talk on next generation sequencing by David Mittelman, FTDNA's new Chief Scientific Officer, in which the new Big Y test was announced. Click here to read Jennifer's blog post.
CeCe Moore has blogged briefly about the Big Y test. Most importantly she has received confirmation from David Mittelman of Family Tree DNA that Big Y customers will be able to download their raw data files on request.
See my blog post on The Family Tree DNA Conference 2013 for a compilation of all the blog posts and other coverage from the conference.
Related blog posts
- The Big Y roll out - the SNP tsunami is on its way!
- A confusion of SNPs
- The Y-chromosome interpretation service from YFull.com