The simple tetrameric STR D9S1120 exhibits a common population-specific allele of 9 repeats (9RA) reported to have an average frequency of 0.36 in Native Americans from both North and South of the continent. Apart from the presence of 9RA in two northeast Siberian populations, D9S1120 shows variability exclusive to, and universal in all American populations studied to date. This STR therefore provides an informative forensic marker applicable in countries with significant proportions of Native American populations or ancestry. We have re-designed PCR primers that reduce the amplified product sizes reported in NCBI UniSTS by more than a third and have characterized the repeat structure of D9S1120. The 9RA allele shares the same repeat structure as the majority of other D9S1120 alleles and so originates from a slippage-diminution mutation rather than an independent deletion. We confirm the previously reported allele frequencies from a range of populations indicating a global heterozygosity range for D9S1120 of 66–75% and estimate the proportion of Native American-diagnostic genotypes to average 53%, underlining the potential usefulness of this STR in both forensic identification and in population genetics studies of the Americas.
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Published online: August 27, 2008
Accepted: July 4, 2008
Received in revised form: July 2, 2008
Received: June 15, 2008
© 2008 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.