For Release on September 7, 2011
FAMILY TREE DNA CONFIRMS TWO NFL PLAYERS ARE HALF-SIBLINGS
San Francisco 49ers’ Xavier Omon and
San Diego Chargers’ Ogemdi Nwagbuo
Meet for the First Time Following Conclusive DNA Testing
Family Tree DNA (www.familytreedna.com), the pioneer and largest DNA testing company for genealogy purposes, has provided conclusive proof that two NFL players are half-siblings. Xavier Omon, running back for the San Francisco 49ers, and Ogemdi Nwagbuo, defensive end for the San Diego Chargers, unexpectedly discovered some months ago that they shared the same biological father. Family Tree DNA performed the DNA testing at the request of ESPN, whose poignant story about the two brothers can be found on the sports channel’s website at: http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/6913436/san-francisco-49ers-xavier-omon-san-deigo-chargers-ogemdi-nwagbuo-find-brotherly-connection
Last month, Family Tree DNA performed two tests on DNA samples from Omon and Nwagbuo—its Y-DNA test, which compares male DNA, and its Family Finder test, an autosomal DNA test which allows for the connection of family members across all ancestral and gender lines. According to Bennett Greenspan, president of FamilyTreeDNA, the Y-DNA test confirmed that the two men share the same Y chromosome, which is indicative of having a common male ancestor. The Family Finder test showed that they shared an amount of DNA in common consistent with being half siblings. "They are absolutely half brothers," Greenspan said.
Omon, who grew up in southeastern Nebraska, never knew his biological father. Late last year, his mother, Delorise Omon, was communicating with an old friend on Facebook. The friend informed her that Chris Nwagbuo, Xavier's biological father, had died in 2004, and that one of his sons – one of three half-brothers of Xavier's that he'd never met -- also plays professional football.
Omon reached out to Nwagbuo and, via texts, Skype and phone conversations, discovered they had many things in common. Both were born in 1985, and their father abandoned both families (Nwagbuo last saw his father in 1999). They met for the first time this past Thursday (September 1) at Qualcomm Stadium during warm-ups before San Francisco's preseason game against the Chargers.
Founded in April 2000, Family Tree DNA was the first company to develop the commercial application of DNA testing for genealogical purposes, something that had previously been available only for academic and scientific research. A decade later, the Houston-based company has a database with over 345,000 individual records –the largest DNA database in genetic genealogy, and a number that makes Family Tree DNA the prime source for anyone researching recent and distant family ties. In 2006, Family Tree DNA established a state of the art Genomics Research Center at its headquarters in Houston, Texas, where it currently performs R&D and processes over 200 advanced types of DNA tests for its customers.
While the company’s Y-DNA test matches men with a specific paternal line and the mtDNA test only finds potential relatives along the maternal line, the Family Finder test allows the connection of family members across all ancestral lines and without regard to gender. Anyone may confidently match to male and female relatives from any of their family lines in the past five generations. The science is based on linked blocks of DNA across the 22 autosomal chromosomes that are matched between two people.
Based on this concept, Family Tree DNA bioinformatics team has worked extensively to develop the calculations that yield the closeness of the relationship. The possibilities to find matches abound: grandparents, aunts and uncles; half siblings; first, second, third and fourth cousins; and, more tentatively, fifth cousins.