The value of Non-CODIS miniSTR genotyping systems in forensic casework in South Africa
Genetic identity testing is achieved by examining polymorphic regions of DNA. Currently, STR markers are the most commonly used loci for human identification from which several commercial genotyping systems have been developed based on the 13 core CODIS loci. However, identification of degraded or compromised DNA proved to be difficult. Recently, research into genetic typing systems has focused on making use of multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) systems that have a reduced size of the PCR products, to improve the molecular analysis of degraded DNA samples in particular. Non-CODIS (NC) loci were therefore developed to aid the profiling of degraded or compromised DNA samples. This paper reviewed the latest developments and improvements on the non-commercial NC miniSTR genotyping systems. The development and validation of these systems are of great interest to South Africa, to reduce the cost of forensic casework.
Key words: Forensic genetics, MiniSTR, Non-CODIS, allele frequency, population genetics, South Africa