Announcement and Hypothesis for Kerchner's New Surname Projects Y-STR Haplotype Average Mutation Rate Log and Study

Log Project Launched: 7 Jan 2005
WebPage Created: 13 Jan 2005

Charles F. Kerchner, Jr., P.E., developer of the MtDNA Test Results Log and the DNAPrint Test Results Log used over the past couple years to collect relevant data to aid Genetic Genealogists, has launched a new data collection Log to gather data to study whether there are intrinsic underlying unknown causes of the differences observed between the Y-STR Haplotype Average Mutation Rates from one surname project (male line) to another surname project (male line).

Hypothesis: That the Y-STR markers in one male line's Y chromosome consistently mutate on average over time and over the generations at a different average rate than another male line's Y chromosome Y-STR average mutation rate. And thus by extension of that hypothesis that the average YSTR mutation rate in one haplogroup maybe be significantly higher or lower on average than for another haplogroup since each male line in a haplogroup ultimately descends from one Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) male for that haplogroup. That is the hypothesis he will test. And is this hypothesis true for all male lines in general, i.e., does each male line Y chromosome have its own unique intrinsic Y-STR haplotype average mutation rate? Is the Y-STR marker average mutation rate male line specific? Some surname projects apparently have very low average mutation rates as evidenced by few mutations being reported by the Project Administrator, with their project participants having a known male common ancestor many, many generations back in time. Other surname projects apparently have markedly higher average mutation rates, two to three times higher with even less generations to a common male ancestor than the project with the slower rate. The evidence has been anecdotal to date. Many comments on this observed phenomena have attributed the observed differences solely due to statistical aberrations. But as more and more surname projects started, the anecdotal evidence has been building that something other than statistical aberrations is going on worth investigating. Charles believes there could be an underlying, here-to-date unknown mechanism or switch, possibly in each Y chromosome line's copying/replicating and/or repairing mechanism or genetic switches or some other unknown (at this time) mechanism which differs from one male line to another male line, such that the net Y-STR Haplotype Average Mutation Rate can differ markedly from one male line to another, and thus from one surname project to another. And since the Y chromosome is inherited over time via the direct male line, it seems logical that any underlying suggested intrinsic mechanism or switch affecting a specific male line average mutation rate would be inherited from father to son over the generations. For want of a name, Charles has dubbed this observed unexplained effect "the Kerchner effect" after his pioneering Kerchner Surname Y-DNA Genetic Genealogy Project launched in Feb 2001 which is a classic example of a surname project with significantly higher average muation rates than the historically used rates promogulated by the various Genetic Genealogy testing labs. Charles, a retired professional engineer, hobby genealogist for almost 30 years, and a pioneering Genetic Genealogist for the last four years, will use the synergistic efforts of hundreds of Genetic Genealogists managing hundreds of surname projects to compile the data for subsequent analysis, possibly even by a professional population geneticist or other scientist, to see if there is merit to his new male line specific mutation model and theory. Is it a one size mutation rate average fits all male lines for the Y-STR Haplotype Average Mutation Rate or is the average mutation rate male line specific? For more on his ideas on male line specific Y-STR haplotype average mutation rates, to view his new Log and read entries to date, see these webpages. All Y-DNA Surname Project Administrators are invited and encouraged to join this new project and make the necessary calculations and post their data to the Log. You can also share interesting comments about your data and project in the comments field.

Surname Projects Y-STR Haplotype Average Mutation Rate Log

Overview and Discussion of DNA Mutation Rates by Charles Kerchner

Genealog-DNA List post at by Charles Kerchner on 12 Jan 2005
regarding his surmised Y chromosome control mechanism or switch effect
which may be controlling the YSTR repeats replication and/or repair mechanisms.
It could be something in the so called Junk DNA we don't know about yet.

Genealogy-DNA List post at by Dr. Gordon Hamilton 16 Jan 2005

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Charles F. Kerchner, Jr.
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This WebPage Created: - 13 Jan 2005
Last WebPage Update: - 07 Mar 2010