STRSeq: A catalog of sequence diversity at human identification Short Tandem Repeat loci

Katherine Butler Gettings, Lisa A. Borsuk, David Ballard, Martin Bodner, Bruce Budowle, Laurence Devesse, Jonathan King, Walther Parson, Christopher Phillips, Peter M. Vallone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


The STR Sequencing Project (STRSeq) was initiated to facilitate the description of sequence-based alleles at the Short Tandem Repeat (STR) loci targeted in human identification assays. This international collaborative effort, which has been endorsed by the ISFG DNA Commission, provides a framework for communication among laboratories. The initial data used to populate the project are the aggregate alleles observed in targeted sequencing studies across four laboratories: National Institute of Standards and Technology (N = 1786), Kings College London (N = 1043), University of North Texas Health Sciences Center (N = 839), and University of Santiago de Compostela (N = 944), for a total of 4612 individuals. STRSeq data are maintained as GenBank records at the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), which participates in a daily data exchange with the DNA DataBank of Japan (DDBJ) and the European Nucleotide Archive (ENA). Each GenBank record contains the observed sequence of a STR region, annotation (“bracketing”) of the repeat region and flanking region polymorphisms, information regarding the sequencing assay and data quality, and backward compatible length-based allele designation. STRSeq GenBank records are organized within a BioProject at NCBI (, which is sub-divided into: commonly used autosomal STRs, alternate autosomal STRs, Y-chromosomal STRs, and X-chromosomal STRs. Each of these categories is further divided into locus-specific BioProjects. The BioProject hierarchy facilitates access to the GenBank records by browsing, BLAST searching, or ftp download. Future plans include user interface tools at, a pathway for submission of additional allele records by laboratories performing population sample sequencing and interaction with the STRidER web portal for quality control (

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-117
Number of pages7
JournalForensic Science International: Genetics
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • DNA sequencing
  • Forensic STR
  • MPS
  • NGS
  • Nomenclature


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