A forensic STR profiling system for the Eurasian badger: A framework for developing profiling systems for wildlife species

Nick Dawnay*, Rob Ogden, Roger S. Thorpe, Lisa C. Pope, Deborah A. Dawson, Ross McEwing

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Developing short tandem repeat (STR) profiling systems for forensic identification is complicated in animal species. Obtaining a representative number of individuals from populations, limited access to family groups and a lack of developed STR markers can make adhering to human forensic guidelines difficult. Furthermore, a lack of animal specific guidelines may explain why many wildlife forensic STR profiling systems developed to date have not appropriately addressed areas such as marker validation or the publication and analysis of population data necessary for the application of these tools to forensic science. Here we present a methodology used to develop an STR profiling system for a legally protected wildlife species, the Eurasian badger Meles meles. Ten previously isolated STR loci were selected based on their level of polymorphism, adherence to Hardy-Weinberg expectations and their fragment size. Each locus was individually validated with respect to its reproducibility, inheritance, species specificity, DNA template concentration and thermocycling parameters. The effects of chemical, substrate and environmental exposure were also investigated. All ten STR loci provided reliable and reproducible results, and optimal amplification conditions were defined. Allele frequencies from 20 representative populations in England and Wales are presented and used to calculate the level of population substructure (theta) and inbreeding (f). Accounting for these estimates, the average probability of identity (PIave) was 2.18 x 10(-7). This case study can act as a framework for others attempting to develop wildlife forensic profiling systems. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-53
Number of pages7
JournalForensic Science International: Genetics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Wildlife forensics
  • Individual identification
  • Badger
  • Validation
  • DNA
  • DEER


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