Population-specific F ST values for forensic STR markers: A worldwide survey

John Buckleton, James Curran, Jerome Goudet, Duncan Taylor, Alexandre Thiery, B. S. Weir

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    58 Citations (Scopus)


    The interpretation of matching between DNA profiles of a person of interest and an item of evidence is undertaken using population genetic models to predict the probability of matching by chance. Calculation of matching probabilities is straightforward if allelic probabilities are known, or can be estimated, in the relevant population. It is more often the case, however, that the relevant population has not been sampled and allele frequencies are available only from a broader collection of populations as might be represented in a national or regional database. Variation of allele probabilities among the relevant populations is quantified by the population structure quantity FST and this quantity affects matching proportions. Matching within a population can be interpreted only with respect to matching between populations and we show here that FST, can be estimated from sample allelic matching proportions within and between populations. We report such estimates from data we extracted from 250 papers in the forensic literature, representing STR profiles at up to 24 loci from nearly 500,000 people in 446 different populations. The results suggest that theta values in current forensic use do not have the buffer of conservatism often thought.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)91-100
    Number of pages10
    JournalForensic Science International: Genetics
    Early online date2016
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016


    • Coancestry
    • Forensic DNA
    • STR marker
    • Theta


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