Which of Cameroon's peoples have members of haplogroup A00?

Bonnie Schrack & Matthew Fomine Forka

$9,000Next Goal
This project was funded on:
11 November 2013

We're now aiming for a higher $9000 Stretch Goal in Round Two of our fundraising, for our groundbreaking research on the world's earliest-branching Y-chromosome lineage, A00. Its origins lie in the earliest days of humanity's emergence, the exact time very much in debate, but almost surely over 200,000 years ago. We first discovered it in early 2012, when the results of the Perrys' Y-DNA tests were unlike anything seen before. We learned that they have matches among some of the diverse peoples of Southwest Cameroon. The new samples to be collected by Matthew in his homeland will allow us to learn much more about A00.


Budget Overview

Our new goal, $9000, should be enough to pay for:

* 400 Swab kits
* DNA extraction and PCR
* 2 SNPs tested in these samples, to screen for A00 and A0
* Microryza fees

400 kits should give Matthew plenty to work with, to collect the 384 samples which are our goal. The lab work is done in multiples of 96 samples, with 384 being optimal.

Meet the Researcher


Bonnie and Matthew got to know each other as a result of our first paper on A00, "An African American Paternal Lineage Adds an Extremely Ancient Root to the Human Y Chromosome Phylogenetic Tree," of which we were co-authors.

Matthew, a doctoral candidate in History, was the collector of the original Mbo DNA samples -- among many others -- from Cameroon, which testing found to belong to the same extraordinary branch as the Y chromosome of the Perry family in the U.S.

Bonnie, a long-time volunteer project administrator, had organized the testing of the members of the A Haplogroup Project, including the Perrys, leading to the discovery of A00 as well as several other early branches of the tree.

We could see that the mere discovery of A00's existence was only the first step; so much more can be learned. We decided to work together to collect DNA samples from key ethnic groups across Cameroon, which could give a far more complete picture of A00's distribution, frequency, and diversity.

Given the unexpected, involuntary departure of our friends, Thomas and Astrid Krahn, from their lab at Family Tree DNA, we're still in the process of making the arrangements for the lab or labs that will be doing our testing. We're close to having it finalized, and we've made enough progress to be confident that our figures for the budget are on target. By next week, we should be able to announce which company we're going with.

This phase of fundraising will cover the all-important screening of the Mbo and Bangwa samples, to discover which of them are A00. When this is done, we'll also have the extracted DNA ready for the further tests we'll do to learn more about A00.

That testing, to measure the diversity amongst A00 lineages, should include some SNPs and some STRs, to allow us to see clustering patterns among them. The exact number of markers to be tested will be determined as our research progresses.

Sequencing full Y chromosomes of one or several A00 samples is definitely planned -- stay tuned!

Project Backers

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