Exploring likelihood ratios assigned for siblings of the true mixture contributor as an alternate contributor

Hannah Kelly, Michael Coble, Maarten Kruijver, Richard Wivell, Jo Anne Bright

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

2 Scopus citations


Relatives tend to have more DNA in common than unrelated people. The closer the biological relationship, the higher the chance of alleles being identical by descent between the individuals. Therefore, when considering a mixed DNA profile, close relatives of the true contributor may not always be excluded as a possible contributor to a mixture due to allele sharing. In these situations, it might be more appropriate under the alternate proposition to consider that the DNA could have originated from a relative of the person of interest rather than an unrelated individual. The probabilistic genotyping software STRmix™ automatically provides LRs considering close biological relatives as alternate sources of the DNA. In this paper, we investigate the support for siblings of the true contributor to a mixture (who are not present in the mixture themselves). We interpret the mixtures and assign LRs using STRmix™ and investigate whether the resulting LRs could be used to indicate whether the true contributor could be a sibling of the POI. Most siblings will have one or more alleles that are not observed in the mixture profile. Support for siblings to have contributed can only occur when allelic dropout is a possibility at the loci where the siblings have alleles that are not observed in the profile. In these data, that was only observed in components with assigned template of 588 rfu or less.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1167-1175
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Forensic Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2022


  • interpretation of DNA mixtures
  • likelihood ratios
  • probabilistic genotyping
  • relatives
  • sibling LR


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