The genetic structure of native Americans in North America based on the Globalfiler® STRs

Kelly L. McCulloh, Jillian Ng, Robert F. Oldt, Jessica A. Weise, Joy Viray, Bruce Budowle, David Glenn Smith, Sreetharan Kanthaswamy

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Current forensic STR databases, such as CODIS, lack population genetic data on Native American populations. Information from a geographically diverse array of tribes is necessary to provide improved statistical estimates of the strength of associations with DNA evidence. The Globalfiler® STR markers were used to characterize the genetic structure of ten tribal populations from seven geographic regions in North America, including those not presently represented in forensic databases. Samples from the Arctic region, Baja California, California/Great Basin, the Southeast, Mexico, the Midwest, and the Southwest were analyzed for allele frequencies, observed and expected heterozygosities, and F-statistics. The tribal samples exhibited an FST or θ value above the conservative 0.03 estimate recommended by the National Research Council (NRC) for calculating random match probabilities among Native Americans. The greater differentiation among tribal populations computed here (θ = 0.04) warrants the inclusion of additional regional Native American samples into STR databases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-54
Number of pages6
JournalLegal Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016



  • Forensic science
  • Geography
  • Native Americans
  • North America
  • Population genetics
  • Short tandem repeats

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