Maternity exclusion with a very high autosomal STRs kinship index

Li Li, Jianye Ge, Suhua Zhang, Jianzhang Guo, Shumin Zhao, Chengtao Li, Hui Tang, Carey Davis, Bruce Budowle, Yiping Hou, Yacheng Liu

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22 Scopus citations


This paper reports a maternity testing case to assess the biological relationship between a woman and the boy she was adopting. For all 46 tested autosomal STR loci, the adopting woman and the boy shared at least one allele at each locus, which supported that the woman could be the biological mother of the boy. The pairwise kinship indices (KIs) were calculated for various identity-by-descent distributions. Motherson was the most likely relationship with a very high KI (i.e., 6.91E+08) based on 35 independent autosomal STR loci, but KIs of other pairwise relationships (e.g., aunt-nephew, full sib, etc.) were also high. Further testing of X-STRs and mtDNA excluded the maternity relationship between woman and boy, in which 13 out of 20 X-STR loci were inconsistent and 18 nucleotide mismatches were observed at hypervariable regions I and II of the mtDNA. However, a more distant relationship (e.g., aunt-nephew) cannot be excluded. This case reinforces that possible false identifications can occur in kinship analysis cases yielding very high KIs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)645-648
Number of pages4
JournalInternational journal of legal medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2012


  • Kinship analysis
  • Mitochondrial DNA
  • Short tandem repeat (STR)
  • X chromosome


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