CRS Is Not Eve
The Cambridge Reference Sequence (CRS) was the first fully-sequenced mtdna. As such, it was used as the ‘reference sequence’, meaning that instead of spelling out all 16576 letters of each new sequence discovered, it was only necessary to list those locations and letters different from the CRS.
Unfortunately this caused endless confusion, since the sequences were not being compared to ‘mitochondiral Eve’ (the matrilineal ancestress of all mankind) but to the sequence for a European Haplogroup H individual. It was sort of like a large family each listing their differences between themselves and a cousin, or nephew, rather than their common grandmother.
Of course the sequence for mitochondrial Eve is just reconstructed. Therefore it changes slightly all the time as more information comes in, and it is useless as a common reference. But, as an example, compare Wilma’s mtdna result as normally compared to CRS:
- HVR1: 16223T, 16292T, 16519C.
- HVR2: 073G, 189G, 195C, 204C, 207A, 263G
- CR: 709A, 750G, 1243C, 1438G, 2706G, 3505G, 4769G, 5046A, 5460A, 7028T, 8251A, 8860G, 8994A, 11674T, 11719A, 11947G, 12414C, 12705T, 14766T, 15326G, 15884C
- HVR1: 16129G, 16187C, 16189T, 16230A, 16278C, 16292T, 16311T
- HVR2: 146T, 152T, 189G, 204C, 207A, 247G
- CR: 709A, 769G, 825T, 1018G, 1243C, 2758G, 2885T, 3505G, 3594C, 4104A, 4312C, 5046A, 5460A, 7146A, 7256C, 7521G, 8251A, 8468C, 8655C, 8701A, 8994A, 9540T, 10398A, 10664C, 10688G, 10810T, 10873T, 10915T, 11674T, 11914G, 11947G, 12414C, 13105A, 13276A, 13506C, 13650C, 15884A
And just to show everything is relative after all, consider Eve's mtdna result when expressed in standard form as differences from CRS:
- HVR1: 16129A, 16187T, 16189C, 16223T, 16230G, 16278T, 16311C, 16519C
- HVR2: 073G, 146C, 152C, 195C, 247A, 263G
- CR: 750G, 769A, 825C, 1018A, 1438G, 2706G, 2758A, 2885C, 3594T, 4104G, 4312T, 4769G, 7028T, 7146G, 7256T, 7521A, 8468T, 8655T, 8701G, 8860G, 9540C, 10398G, 10664T, 10688A, 10810C, 10873C, 10915C, 11719A, 11914A, 12705T, 13105G, 13276G, 13506T, 13650T, 14766T, 15326G
Comments? Corrections? Questions? E-mail me!