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A Single Mutation in the FGA Locus Responsible for False Homozygosities and Discrepancies Between Commercial Kits in an Unusual Paternity Test Case

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We report an unusual paternity test case showing multiple peculiarities. Using AmpFlSTR® Profiler Plus and AmpFlSTR® Identifiler PCR Amplification kits, the alleged father and the two children were apparently homozygous at the FGA locus, but using the PowerPlex® 16 kit the three individuals were found to be heterozygous. Drop-out was caused by a single mutation event in the presumptive binding site of the reverse primer. In addition, three inconsistencies were detected between the daughter and the alleged father among 18 STR markers. The occurrence of the rare null allele at the FGA locus and case history suggested that the true father was the brother of the alleged father. Furthermore, a single-step repeat maternal mutation was also detected at D16S539. This puzzling case was solved by using multiple analytical approaches, including the use of different primer pairs, the use of a high number of STR markers, and the characterization of the mutation causing the “null allele.”

Keywords: FGA mutation; forensic science; maternal mutation; null allele; paternity test

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria “A.Meyer” U.O. Genetica Medica, Florence, Italy. 2: Dipartimento di Anatomia, Università of Torino, Farmacologia e Medicina Legale, Turin, Italy.

Publication date: March 1, 2007


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