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Forensic Sci Int. 2005 Aug 11;152(1):45-53.

Inferring the population of origin of DNA evidence within the UK by allele-specific hybridization of Y-SNPs.

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  • 1The Forensic Science Service, R&D, Trident Court 2960, Solihull Parkway, Birmingham Business Park, Solihull B37 7YN, UK.


Marked differences in Y-SNP allele frequencies between continental populations can be used to predict the biogeographic origin of a man's ancestral paternal lineage. Using 627 samples collected from individuals within the UK with pale-skinned Caucasian, dark-skinned Caucasian, African/Caribbean, South Asian, East Asian or Middle Eastern appearance we demonstrate that an individual's Y-SNP haplogroup is also strongly correlated with their physical appearance. Furthermore, experimental evaluation of the Marligen Signet Y-SNP kit in conjunction with the Luminex 100 detection instrument indicates that reliable and reproducible haplogrouping results can be obtained from 1 ng or more of target template derived from a variety of forensic evidence types including, blood, saliva and post-coital vaginal swabs. The test proved highly male-specific with reliable results being generated in the presence of a 1000-fold excess of female DNA, and no anomalous results were observed during degradation studies despite a gradual loss of typable loci. Hence, Y-SNP haplogrouping has considerable potential forensic utility in predicting likely ethnic appearance.

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