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mtGenome Reference Population Databases and the Future of Forensic mtDNA Analysis

NCJ Number
Forensic Science International: Genetics Volume: 5 Issue: 3 Dated: June 2011 Pages: 222-225
Jodi A. Irwin; Walther Parson; Michael D. Coble; Rebecca S. Just
Date Published
June 2011
4 pages
This article discusses the need for improving mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) databasing efforts to enhance the development of mtDNA genome reference population data suitable for use in forensic comparisons.
This article examines the need for expanding the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genome reference population data for use in forensic comparisons. The authors note that mtDNA testing requires appropriate, high quality databases for estimating the rarity of questioned DNA haplotypes. The problem with current forensic mtDNA reference databases is that they only contain information from the control region, which makes it difficult the field of forensic sciences for rapid advancements in mtDNA typing technologies. The authors note that while new tools are available for accessing mtDNA coding region data, such as single nucleotide polymorphism assays and sequence specific oligonucleotide probes, the randomly sampled entire mtGenome reference population data required for statistical interpretation of mtDNA coding region data are lacking. The article states that until mtGenome reference population databases are developed and made available for interpreting coding region data, the utility of novel mtDNA typing technologies and any benefits derived from recovering mtDNA coding region information from forensic specimens will be limited. References