Allele frequency data for VNTR locus D17S79: Identification of an internalHaeIII polymorphism in the black population
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D17S79 is one of several highly polymorphic VNTR loci commonly used to generate DNA profiles for forensic identity testing and parentage determination. In this study, we used Southern hybridization analysis of HaeIII-digested genomic DNA to compile D17S79 allele frequency databases for the Caucasian, Southeast Asian, East Indian, and Black populations of Southern Ontario. In our Black population sample, low-molecular-weight D17S79 alleles are relatively common and approximately 7% of the individuals have three-band hybridization patterns due to a HaeIII restriction site polymorphism within a common D17S79 allele. The internal HaeIII site generates an allele consisting of two HaeIII fragments of approximately 980 and 420 bp. The estimated frequency of this "split-allele" in our Black population is 0.035. Since this allele was not observed in the other population groups, the internal HaeIII polymorphism probably originated within the Black population. Although the existence of low-molecular-weight alleles and the internal HaeIII polymorphism could affect the interpretation of some VNTR patterns, they are of little or no forensic consequence to the frequencies assigned to VNTR profiles.
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