A biosocial study exploring self-reported vs predicted ancestry using the Verogen ForenSeq™ signature prep kit

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Xykiera Charde' Sims (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site: http://library.wcu.edu/
Beverly Collins

Abstract: Since the 1900s forensic scientists have generally relied upon short tandem repeats (STRs) as a DNA typing method used for positive identification or exclusion of suspects in crimes. STR typing, while well established, requires comparison to a reference sample for positive identification. New technological advances in massively parallel sequencing (MPS) have expanded forensic DNA analysis beyond traditional STR profiles to include additional markers for ancestry and phenotype estimates which are informative in the absence of reference samples. The Verogen ForenSeq™ Signature Prep Kit, one of two commercially available MPS forensic DNA kits, is used to simultaneously generate results for identity, ancestry, and phenotypic informative single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers in addition to standard STRs. The ancestry SNPs included provide an estimation of biogeographic origin of the sample donor, but little research has been done on how these compare to self-reported assessments of ancestry. This study examined the correlation between self-reported ancestry and ancestry estimations generated using the ForenSeq™ Signature Prep Kit in a group of 12 Western Carolina University students between the ages of 18-24. Participants were asked to complete a detailed demographic survey and submitted a DNA sample for analysis. This research study explored the correspondence of and discrepancies between genetic data and more nuanced concepts of self- identification and biosocial ancestry. The results of this research may add to the understanding of the interaction between self-identification and the use of ancestry predictions generated by a commonly used forensic DNA kit. Also, the results can inform applications and limitations of the use of the ForenSeq™ panel in a diverse U.S. population.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2021
DNA -- Analysis
Genetic genealogy
Forensic biology

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