chromosome-browser

What is a chromosome browser?

If you’re interested in conducting genealogy research, it can be helpful to understand what a chromosome browser is and how you can use one yourself. A chromosome browser can assist you in unearthing fascinating information about yourself and about any DNA matches that you may have. Let’s take a look at what these browsers are, how they work, and how you can use a chromosome browser to quickly gather the DNA and genetic information you’re looking for.

Understanding Chromosomes

To understand what chromosome browsers are and how they work, you may first want to know what chromosomes are. Chromosomes are parts of your cellular physical anatomy. The chromosomes of a cell are located in its nucleus and are made up of DNA and protein called chromatin. Chromosomes carry genetic genealogy information and each chromosome contains multiple genes. Chromosomes come in pairs, each set originating from either your father or your mother. Chromosomes can be found in almost every single cell in your body. Chromosomes copy, duplicate, and divide. Divided chromosomes present in an “X” shape that you are probably familiar with. Human beings have 46 chromosomes in 23 pairs.

• Chromosomes are found in your cells
• They contain DNA and protein and carry genetic information
• Humans have 46 chromosomes in 23 pairs
• Half of your chromosome pairs are from your mother, half are from your father
• Chromosomes make an “X” shape when they duplicate

Explaining Chromosome Browsers

A chromosome browser is a tool that allows you to take a look at the various blocks and segments of DNA that make up chromosomes after autosomal DNA testing. In the same way that you would look through the table of contents for a specific chapter in a book, a chromosome browser can be used to search through chromosomes for any specific segments of DNA that you share with your genetic matches. Chromosome browsers display the 23 chromosomes in your genetic makeup with color-coded segments. In this way, you’ll be able to view the starting and stopping point of each segment to differentiate it from the segment before or after it. These browsers allow you to see the amount of DNA you share with any genetic matches on both your paternal and maternal side, though a chromosome browser can’t tell you which side specifically the DNA match comes from. Here are some chromosome browser examples.

  • Chromosome browsers allow you to easily search DNA in chromosomes
  • These DNA segments are usually color-coded and they are called: matching segments
  • You can use a chromosome browser to identify your genetic matches
  • Shows your genetic matches in both your mother and father’s line

How to Use a Chromosome Browser

The easiest way to learn how chromosome browsers work is by using one. You’ll start with the known relationships between yourself and any DNA matches and familiarize yourself with the appropriate segment lengths of known relationships. Then, you can identify patterns, DNA clusters, triangulated segments, adjacent segments and shared DNA segments. You can read more on this topic here.

Chromosome browsers can be helpful tools for individuals looking to identify shared DNA arrangements and similarities. Using this tool to recognize patterns in your DNA segments allows you to dive more deeply into a world of compelling genetic discovery. With a chromosome browser, everyday people who have completed DNA tests can find missing relatives, distinguish family relationships, family history and trace their ancestry quickly and relatively easily.

Chromosome browser is available at: 23andme, Family Tree DNA, MyHeritage and GEDmatch.