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J Forensic Sci. 2008 Jan;53(1):73-80. Epub 2007 Nov 13.

Characterization of 26 miniSTR loci for improved analysis of degraded DNA samples.

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  • 1Biochemical Science Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8311, USA.


An additional 20 novel mini-short tandem repeat (miniSTR) loci have been developed and characterized beyond the six previously developed by our laboratory for a total of 26 non-CODIS miniSTR markers. These new markers produce short PCR products in the target range of 50-150 base pairs (bp) by moving the primer sequences as close as possible-often directly next to the identified repeat region. These candidate loci were initially screened based on their small amplicon sizes and locations on chromosomes currently unoccupied by the 13 CODIS STR loci or at least 50 Mb away from them on the same chromosome. They were sequenced and evaluated across more than 600 samples, and their population statistics were determined. The heterozygosities of the new loci were compared with those of the 13 CODIS loci and all were found to be comparable. Only five of the new loci had lower values than the CODIS loci; however, all of these were much smaller in size. This data suggests that these 26 miniSTR loci will serve as useful complements to the CODIS loci to aid in the forensic analysis of degraded DNA, as well as missing persons work and parentage testing with limited next-of-kin reference samples.

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