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J Forensic Sci. 2009 Mar;54(2):289-304. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2008.00953.x.

Identification of forensically informative SNPs in the domestic dog mitochondrial control region.

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  • 1Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Building 1180, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA.


Dog hair is often found at crime scenes either due to the dog's involvement in the crime or secondary transfer. As little nuclear DNA is present in shed hair, a 1000 base pair fragment of the mitochondrial control region (mtCR) from 552 dogs was assessed for forensically useful sequence variation. Through pairwise alignment to a standard reference sequence, existing haplotypes were further described and 36 new haplotypes and 24 new single nucleotide polymorphisms were identified. The probability of exclusion was found to be 0.957. Breeds were found to have similar sequences, although not identical. No genetic basis was found for grouping dogs by either purebred or mixed or geographic location within the continental United States. Our research demonstrates that the domestic dog mtCR has not been thoroughly surveyed for sequence variation and that a single database comprised of purebred and mixed breed dogs is sufficient for the continental United States.

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