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MPKin-YSTR: Interpretation of Y chromosome STR haplotypes for missing persons cases

NCJ Number
Electrophoresis Volume: Online First Dated: April 2023
Date Published
April 2023

This article presents research into using Y chromosome STR haplotype forensic markers to resolve missing persons cases.


Y chromosome Short Tandem Repeat (STR) haplotypes have been used in assisting forensic investigations primarily for identification and male lineage determination. The current SWGDAM interpretation guidelines for Y-STR typing provide helpful guidance on those purposes but do not address the issue of kinship analysis with Y-STR haplotypes. Because of the high mutation rate of Y-STRs, there are complex missing person cases in which inconsistent Y-STR haplotypes between true paternal lineage relatives will arise and cases with two or more male references in the same lineage and yet differ in their haplotypes. Therefore, more useful methods are needed for interpreting the Y-STR haplotype data. Computational methods and interpretation guidelines have been developed specifically addressing this issue, either using a mismatch-based counting method or a pedigree likelihood ratio method. In this study, a software program, MPKin-YSTR, was developed by implementing those more sophisticated methods. This software should be able to improve the interpretation of complex cases with Y-STR haplotype evidence. Thus, more biological evidence will be interpreted, which in turn will result in more investigation leads to help solve crimes. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: April 1, 2023