Y-chromosomal haplogroups assigned from male-specific Y-chromosomal single nucleotide polymorphisms (Y-SNPs) allow paternal lineage identification and paternal bio-geographic ancestry inference, both being relevant in forensic genetics. However, most previously developed forensic Y-SNP tools did not provide Y haplogroup resolution on the high level needed in forensic applications, because the limited multiplex capacity of the DNA technologies used only allowed the inclusion of a relatively small number of Y-SNPs. In a proof-of-principle study, we recently demonstrated that high-resolution Y haplogrouping is feasible via two AmpliSeq PCR analyses and simultaneous massively parallel sequencing (MPS) of 530 Y-SNPs allowing the inference of 432 Y-haplogroups. With the current study, we present a largely improved Y-SNP MPS lab tool that we specifically designed for the analysis of low quality and quantity DNA often confronted with in forensic DNA analysis. Improvements include i) Y-SNP marker selection based on the “minimal reference phylogeny for the human Y chromosome” (PhyloTree Y), ii) strong increase of the number of targeted Y-SNPs allowing many more Y haplogroups to be inferred, iii) focus on short amplicon length enabling successful analysis of degraded DNA, and iv) combination of all amplicons in a single AmpliSeq PCR and simultaneous sequencing allowing single DNA aliquot use. This new MPS tool simultaneously analyses 859 Y-SNPs and allows inferring 640 Y haplogroups. Preliminary forensic developmental validation testing revealed that this tool performs highly accurate, is sensitive and robust. We also provide a revised software tool for analysing the sequencing data produced by the new MPS lab tool including final Y haplogroup assignment. We envision the tools introduced here for high-resolution Y-chromosomal haplogrouping to determine a man’s paternal lineage and/or paternal bio-geographic ancestry to become widely used in forensic Y-chromosome DNA analysis and other applications were Y haplogroup information from low quality / quantity DNA samples is required.

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Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fsigen.2019.04.001, hdl.handle.net/1765/117803
Journal Forensic Science International: Genetics
Ralf, A, van Oven, M, González, D.M, de Knijff, P, van Beek, K, Wootton, S, … Kayser, M.H. (2019). Forensic Y-SNP analysis beyond SNaPshot. Forensic Science International: Genetics, 41, 93–106. doi:10.1016/j.fsigen.2019.04.001