miniSTRs: New Loci and Assays/Support to Other Labs


Participants: Michael D. Coble, Carolyn R. "Becky" Hill, Peter M. Vallone, and John M. Butler


Project Timeframe: Apr 2004 to Apr 2006


Purpose: To prepare and share allelic ladders and other information on new miniSTR loci--what have been termed NC for "non-CODIS" or "non-core" loci.


Progress: During 2004-2006, prototype versions of the “non-CODIS”assays (NC01, NC02, etc.) were supplied to all forensic laboratories that requested them including the California Department of Justice DNA Laboratory, the Texas Missing Persons program, the NYC Office of Chief Medical Examiner, the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL), the US Army Crime Lab, and the International Commission of Missing Persons in Bosnia. A total of 19 labs worldwide were supplied with allelic ladders and primer sets upon their request in addition to the participants in the European DNA Profiling Group (EDNAP) degraded DNA study (Dixon et al. 2006). The results of the EDNAP degraded DNA study, which compared the performance of miniSTRs with commercial STR kits and a SNP assay developed by the UK’s Forensic Science Service, demonstrated that miniSTRs can outperform SNPs with degraded DNA (Dixon et al. 2006). Largely due to the success of miniSTRs in the EDNAP study, leaders within the European community have recommended the addition of NIST developed STR loci to widely used core loci. The NC01 loci have been recommended for adoption by European laboratories (see Gill et al. Forensic Sci. Int. 2006;156:242-244) with D2S441 replacing D14S1434 (Gill et al. Forensic Sci. Int. 2006;163:155-157). Thus, the proposed future core loci include D2S441, D10S1248, and D22S1045. These loci have also been adopted by several paternity testing laboratories and it is likely only a matter of time before they are used regularly in missing persons and future mass disaster DNA investigations. We have stopped supplying allelic ladders but now have typed and sequenced 26 miniSTR loci across standard samples for genotype calibration purposes.


Publications or Presentations Resulting From This Project (selected):

Coble, M.D. and Butler, J.M. (2005) Characterization of new miniSTR loci to aid analysis of degraded DNA. J. Forensic Sci. 50: 43-53.

Butler, J.M. and Coble, M.D. (2007) Authors' Response to Letter to Editor [regarding nomenclature for new miniSTR locus D10S1248]. J. Forensic Sci. 52(2): 494.

Becky Hill poster at 17th International Symposium on Human Identification (Nashville, TN), October 10-12, 2006, "Characterization of 26 New miniSTR Loci" [.pdf]

Coble, M.D., Hill, C.R., Vallone, P.M., Butler, J.M. (2006) Characterization and performance of new miniSTR loci for typing degraded samples. Progress in Forensic Genetics 11, Elsevier Science: Amsterdam, The Netherlands, International Congress Series 1288, 504-506.


Yong, R.Y.Y., Gan, L.S.H., Coble, M.D., Yap, E.P.H. (2007) Allele frequencies of six miniSTR loci of three ethnic populations in Singapore. Forensic Sci. Int. 166: 240-243.

Parsons, T.J., Huel, R., Davoren, J., Katzmarzyk, C., Milos, A., Selmanovic, A., Smajlovic, L., Coble, M.D., Rizvic, A. (2007) Application of novel "mini-amplicon" STR multiplexes to high volume casework on degraded skeletal remains. FSI Genetics 1:175-179.

Dixon, L.A., Dobbins, A.E., Pulker, H., Butler, J.M., Vallone, P.M., Coble, M.D., Parson, W., Berger, B., Grubweiser, P., Mogensen, H.S., Morling, N., Nielsen, K., Sanchez, J.J., Petkovski, E., Carracedo, A., Sanchez-Diz, P., Brion, M., Irwin, J.A., Just, R.S., Loreille, O., Parsons, T.J., Syndercombe-Court, D., Schmitter, H., Gill, P. (2006) Analysis of artificially degraded DNA using STRs and SNPs--results of a collaborative European (EDNAP) exercise. Forensic Sci. Int. 164: 33-44.

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Last updated: 06/27/2007


Disclaimer: This project was supported by National Institute of Justice Grant Number 2003-IJ-R-029, which is an interagency agreement between NIJ and the NIST Office of Law Enforcement Standards, awarded by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, US Department of Justice. Points of view in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the US Department of Justice. Certain commercial equipment, instruments and materials are identified in order to specify experimental procedures as completely as possible.  In no case does such identification imply a recommendation or endorsement by the National Institute of Standards and Technology nor does it imply that any of the materials, instruments or equipment identified are necessarily the best available for the purpose.