Characterization of genetic sequence variation of 58 STR loci in four major population groups

Nicole M.M. Novroski, Jonathan L. King, Jennifer D. Churchill, Lay Hong Seah, Bruce Budowle

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111 Scopus citations


Massively parallel sequencing (MPS) can identify sequence variation within short tandem repeat (STR) alleles as well as their nominal allele lengths that traditionally have been obtained by capillary electrophoresis. Using the MiSeq FGx Forensic Genomics System (Illumina), STRait Razor, and in-house excel workbooks, genetic variation was characterized within STR repeat and flanking regions of 27 autosomal, 7 X chromosome and 24 Y-chromosome STR markers in 777 unrelated individuals from four population groups. Seven hundred and forty six autosomal, 227 X chromosome, and 324 Y-chromosome STR alleles were identified by sequence compared with 357 autosomal, 107 X chromosome, and 189 Y-chromosome STR alleles that were identified by length. Within the observed sequence variation, 227 autosomal, 156 X chromosome, and 112 Y-chromosome novel alleles were identified and described. One hundred and seventy six autosomal, 123 X chromosome, and 93 Y-chromosome sequence variants resided within STR repeat regions, and 86 autosomal, 39 X chromosome, and 20 Y-chromosome variants were located in STR flanking regions. Three markers, D18S51, DXS10135, and DYS385a-b had 1, 4, and 1 alleles, respectively, which contained both a novel repeat region variant and a flanking sequence variant in the same nucleotide sequence. There were 50 markers that demonstrated a relative increase in diversity with the variant sequence alleles compared with those of traditional nominal length alleles. These population data illustrate the genetic variation that exists in the commonly used STR markers in the selected population samples and provide allele frequencies for statistical calculations related to STR profiling with MPS data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-226
Number of pages13
JournalForensic Science International: Genetics
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2016


  • DNA signature prep kit
  • ForenSeq™
  • Forensic DNA
  • Massively parallel sequencing
  • SNP
  • STR
  • STRait razor
  • Sequence variation


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