The researchers behind the project, which has spanned several decades, say they have so far found 14 living relatives aged one and 85.
All of them live in the region of Tuscany, where the painter, scientist, engineer and architect was born in 1452.
The findings form part of a decades-long project, led by art historians Alessandro Vezzosi and Agnese Sabato.
The study’s findings, published in the Human Evolution journal, document the male line over the past 690 years, through 21 generations.
Though Da Vinci never married and had no children, he had at least 22 half-brothers, according to researchers.
Born in the Tuscan town of Vinci, he was the illegitimate son of a local notary.
Vezzosi told the Ansa news agency that by 2016 “we had already identified 35 of Leonardo’s living relatives, but they were mostly indirect, in the female line, as in the best-known case of the director Franco Zeffirelli.”
“So they were not people who could give us useful information on Leonardo’s DNA and in particular on the Y chromosome, which is transmitted to male descendants and remains almost unchanged for 25 generations”.
He said the 14 living descendants identified in the study, through painstaking research over the decades, were from the male line.
“They are aged between one and 85, they don’t live right in Vinci but in neighbouring towns as far away as Versilia (on the Tuscan coast) and they have ordinary jobs such as a clerk, a surveyor, an artisan,” Vezzosi said.
The relatives’ DNA samples will be analysed in the coming months by the international Leonardo Da Vinci DNA Project, led by the Jesse Ausubelof Rockefeller University in New York and supported by the Richard Lounsbery Foundation.