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What is the difference between the maternal haplogroup and its subtypes?

A maternal haplogroup is a genetic group defined by the presence of specific genetic markers inherited through the maternal line (which is what we know as a maternal haplogroup). These genetic markers are specific variants in DNA that characterize a particular group of people with common genetic ancestry. In simple terms, a haplogroup is like a “branch” in the human genealogical tree that groups individuals with shared ancestors. It allows you to know the historical journey that your ancestors took on your mother’s side.

A subhaplogroup (or subclade) is a more specific subdivision within a broader haplogroup. Haplogroups can be quite large and nonspecific, grouping many people with shared genetic characteristics in terms of their maternal ancestry. For this reason, researchers often divide haplogroups into what are known as “subhaplogroups,” smaller groups within haplogroups. These subhaplogroups are defined by additional genetic markers that are rarer and more specific, allowing for a more detailed classification of ancestral lines.