Rapidly mutating Y-STR analyses of compromised forensic samples

Rashed Alghafri, Irena Zupanič Pajnič, Tomaž Zupanc, Jože Balažic, Pankaj Shrivastava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Rapidly mutating Y-chromosomal short tandem repeats (RM Y-STRs) were identified to improve differentiation of unrelated males and also to enable separating closely and distantly related males in human identity testing in forensic and other applications. RM-Yplex assay was developed as a single multiplex that is capable of simultaneously amplifying all currently known RM Y-STRs, and reproducibility and sensitivity testing were performed on reference samples. Additional analyses are necessary to test its suitability for analysing compromised forensic samples. For this purpose, we applied the RM-Yplex assay to approximately 70-year-old skeletons that were used as a model for poorly preserved, challenging forensic samples. We analysed 57 male skeletal remains (bones and teeth) from 55 skeletons excavated from the Second World War (WWII) mass graves in Slovenia. The RM-Yplex typing was successful in all 57 samples; there were 56% full profiles obtained, and in partial profiles, up to 7 locus drop-outs were observed and they appeared correlated with low DNA quantities and degradation of DNA obtained from WWII bone and tooth samples. The longest loci, DYS403S1b, DYS547, DYS627 and DYS526b, were the most often dropped-out RM Y-STRs. In spite of high frequency of drop-out events, the RM-Yplex typing was successful in all WWII samples, showing the possibility of successful amplification of at least half of the RM Y-STRs even from the most compromised samples analysed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-403
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Legal Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Aged DNA
  • Compromised forensic samples
  • RM-Yplex
  • Rapidly mutating Y-STRs
  • Second World War
  • Skeletal remains

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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