The YHRD Database – Recording Data for a Qualified Interpretation of Forensic Y-STR Results

Wednesday September 16th, 2020 // 11:37 am - 12:11 pm

Due to a foresighted decentralized sampling strategy a large number of population samples (currently 1,348 studies with > 300,000 haplotypes in Release 62) are made available by the YHRD, a scientific reference database for forensic use. It is built by direct submissions of population data from individual laboratories working in the field of forensic, human and population genetics including crime labs and university departments. Upon receipt of a suitable submission, the YHRD custodians examine the originality, validity and concordance of the Y-STR (and Y-SNP data) and finally assign an accession number to the population sample. The submissions are then registered to the public database.  All population data published in several of the prominent forensic journals such as Forensic Sci Int Genet or Int J Legal Med. are required to be validated by the YHRD custodians and are subsequently included in the YHRD. Currently, the database can be searched against 136 national databases and 32 metapopulations for common Y-STR panels implemented in widely used PCR kits, which represent nine (minimal haplotype, minHt) up to 29 Y-STR loci (maximal haplotype, maxHt). A user’s manual covering all aspects of the YHRD use can be downloaded from the “Help & Support” section.

The recently published recommendations on Y-STR interpretation of the ISFG emphasize the relevance of large structured datasets recorded in the YHRD database for qualified Y-STR statistics. However, legal requirements as well as availability of population data and statistical methods need to be considered by the expert in order to correctly evaluate and formulate propositions based on Y chromosomal evidence.


Private: Lutz Roewer

Director, Department of Forensic Genetics, Institute of Legal Medicine

Lutz Roewer works as a forensic expert since 1987. His scientific background comprises the genetics and application of DNA sequence polymorphisms in human and non-human DNA, forensic and kinship analysis using molecular markers, population genetics, phylogeography and ancient DNA. He is specialized in the field of Y chromosome genetics and its forensic, genealogical and evolutionary genetics applications.

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