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Is it possible to share no DNA with sibling?

It is very rare for full biological siblings to share no DNA with each other. However, there are a few exceptional circumstances where this could theoretically occur. Siblings inherit half of their DNA from each parent. Typically, siblings will share about 50% of their DNA since there is a 50% chance they will inherit the same DNA variants from each parent. However, due to the random nature of inheritance, some full siblings may share more or less than 50% of their DNA.

How much DNA do siblings share?

On average, full biological siblings share about 50% of their DNA. However, the actual amount can range from 0% to 100%. Here is a breakdown of the amount of DNA siblings can share:

DNA shared Likelihood
0% Extremely rare
25% Rare
50% Most common
75% Uncommon
100% Extremely rare

As you can see, while it is possible for siblings to share no DNA, it is extremely uncommon. Sharing 50% DNA is by far the most likely scenario for full biological siblings.

How could siblings share no DNA?

There are a few hypothetical scenarios in which full biological siblings could share 0% of their DNA:

Extremely rare genetic combinations from parents

Siblings inherit different combinations of their parent’s DNA through a randomized process. In very rare cases, a brother and sister could inherit completely different DNA variants from each parent. However, this extreme case would require their parents to have a precise combination of DNA that enabled this unlikely outcome.

Identical twins reproducing with the same partner

If a pair of identical twins reproduced with the same partner, their children would be full genetic siblings but would share no DNA. This is because the identical twins share 100% of their DNA. Their children would be genetic half siblings rather than full siblings. However, they would still be considered full siblings socially.

Extreme mutation

In freak cases, an extreme rate of genetic mutation could potentially lead to siblings sharing no DNA. However, the mutation rate would have to be astronomical to overwrite all genetic similarities between siblings. This scenario is conceivable but highly unrealistic.

Examples of siblings sharing little DNA

While confirmed cases of siblings sharing 0% DNA are unheard of, there are some examples of siblings sharing very little DNA:

Siblings born from the same sperm and egg donors

Siblings conceived using the same sperm and egg donors would share minimal DNA since they do not share biological parents. However, they would still share some DNA since the donors would be related at the population level. Studies show unrelated individuals share about 0.1% of DNA based on common ancestry.


In very rare cases, a person can be born a chimera – meaning they have two sets of DNA due to having fused with a twin in the womb. If they had a normal sibling, the two would share little DNA since the chimera’s DNA is from two different sources.

Extreme chromosomal rearrangements

Also in very rare cases, individuals have been documented with extreme chromosomal rearrangements that get passed down. Siblings inheriting different variants of rearranged chromosomes from their parents would share minimal DNA in the affected chromosome regions.

Reasons siblings typically share DNA

While there are hypothetical scenarios where siblings share no DNA, here are some key reasons why siblings will almost always share significant DNA:

Same biological parents

Full biological siblings share the same mother and father. Each parent passes down about 50% of their DNA to their children. This means siblings will automatically start with about 50% of their DNA in common.

Random inheritance

The process of inheritance mixes up the parents’ DNA through recombination. However, this is a random process. Siblings will usually end up with some of the same DNA variations just by chance through random inheritance.

Limited diversity

There is substantial but limited genetic diversity among humans. Siblings will share DNA due to their common ancestry as humans. Even unrelated people share over 99% of their DNA.

Stable genome

For the most part, the human genome remains stable from parent to child. While mutations occur, they are rare enough that siblings will inherit nearly identical DNA from their parents.

Does less DNA sharing affect sibling relationships?

The amount of DNA shared between siblings does not appear to significantly impact the emotional closeness between siblings. Here are some key points:

Environment matters more than genetics

Research shows that siblings who grow up together develop strong bonds through shared environment and experiences, regardless of actual genetic relationship. Psychological closeness is not linked to genetic similarity.

Half-siblings can be just as close

Half-siblings share about 25% of their DNA on average, but studies show they can form just as close of relationships as full siblings when raised together. Shared family bonds are based more on time spent together.

Little DNA sharing is rare

Most siblings share the typical amount of DNA (about 50%). Extremely rare cases where siblings share little or no DNA don’t provide enough data to assess the impacts on sibling relationships.


In summary, it is highly unlikely but theoretically possible for full biological siblings to share no DNA. This would require an extremely rare genetic situation such as identical twins reproducing with the same partner or extreme mutation. Most siblings instead share about 50% of their DNA. While less DNA sharing can occur due to chromosomal rearrangements or different biological parents, even half-siblings raised together form typical close sibling bonds. So while genetics contribute to sibling relationships, shared family environment seems to be more important for emotional closeness. Sibling connections depend more on time spent together than actual DNA similarities.