STRoe deer: A validated forensic STR profiling system for the European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus)
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Forensic Science International: Animals and Environments
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European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus L.) are the most common game species in Europe, hunted for meat and trophies. Forensic investigations involving roe deer poaching may often benefit from an individual identification method to link a suspect to a specific incident. The current paper presents a forensically validated DNA profiling system for European roe deer called “STRoe deer”. This DNA profiling system consists of 12 novel unlinked tetra-nucleotide short tandem repeat (STR) loci and two sexing markers, with an allelic ladder to facilitate accurate genotyping. Validation results using 513 European roe deer samples collected from a single population from the Swiss Plateau demonstrated successful amplification of all 14 loci with as little as 0.05 ng of European roe deer DNA. Species-specificity tests showed that other members of the Cervidae family exhibited partial profiles and non-specific peaks, whereas most members of the Bovidae family showed just non-specific cross-species amplification products. Three different methods to calculate match probabilities for randomly sampled European roe deer genotypes resulted in median match probabilities ranging from 1.4 × 10−13 to 2.5 × 10−5. These methods accounted for possible population structure, occurrence of null alleles and individual relatedness. Based on these results, we conclude that STRoe deer is a robust genotyping system that should prove a valuable tool for individual identification and sexing of European roe deer to support criminal investigations.
Morf, N. V., et al., 2021. ‘STRoe deer: A validated forensic STR profiling system for the European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus)’. Forensic Science International: Animals and Environments, 1, 100023.
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