Building a forensic ancestry panel from the ground up: The EUROFORGEN Global AIM-SNP set

Emerging next-generation sequencing technologies will enable DNA analyses to add pigmentation predictive and ancestry informative (AIM) SNPs to the range of markers detectable from a single PCR test. This prompted us to re-appraise current forensic and genomics AIM-SNPs and from the best sets, to identify the most divergent markers for a five population group differentiation of Africans, Europeans, East Asians, Native Americans and Oceanians by using our own online genome variation browsers. We prioritized careful balancing of population differentiation across the five group comparisons in order to minimize bias when estimating co-ancestry proportions in individuals with admixed ancestries. The differentiation of European from Middle East or South Asian ancestries was not chosen as a characteristic in order to concentrate on introducing Oceanian differentiation for the first time in a forensic AIM set. We describe a complete set of 128 AIM-SNPs that have near identical population-specific divergence across five continentally defined population groups. The full set can be systematically reduced in size, while preserving the most informative markers and the balance of population-specific divergence in at least four groups. We describe subsets of 88, 55, 28, 20 and 12 AIMs, enabling both new and existing SNP genotyping technologies to exploit the best markers identified for forensic ancestry analysis.
Forensic Sci Int Genet 2014 11:13-25
PubMed: 24631693
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