Original Article

International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 125, Issue 5, pp 629-636

First online:

PopAffiliator: online calculator for individual affiliation to a major population group based on 17 autosomal short tandem repeat genotype profile

  • Luísa PereiraAffiliated withInstituto de Patologia e Imunologia Molecular da Universidade do Porto (IPATIMUP)Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade do Porto Email author 
  • , Farida AlshamaliAffiliated withGeneral Department of Forensic Sciences & Criminology, Dubai Police GHQ
  • , Rune AndreassenAffiliated withFaculty of Health Sciences, Oslo University College
  • , Ruth BallardAffiliated withDepartment of Biological Sciences, California State University
  • , Wasun ChantratitaAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University
  • , Nam Soo ChoAffiliated withDepartment of Forensic Medicine, Central District Office, National Institute of Scientific Investigation
  • , Clotilde CoudrayAffiliated withLaboratoire d’Anthropologie Moléculaire et Imagerie de Synthèse (AMIS), CNRS and University Toulouse III Paul Sabatier
  • , Jean-Michel DugoujonAffiliated withLaboratoire d’Anthropologie Moléculaire et Imagerie de Synthèse (AMIS), CNRS and University Toulouse III Paul Sabatier
  • , Marta EspinozaAffiliated withDepartamento de Ciencias Forenses, Organismo de Investigación Judicial, Poder Judicial, Unidad de Genética Forense
    • , Fabricio González-AndradeAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Metropolitan Hospital
    • , Sibte HadiAffiliated withSchool of Forensic & Investigative Sciences, University of Central Lancashire
    • , Uta-Dorothee ImmelAffiliated withInstitute of Legal Medicine, Martin-Luther-University Halle
    • , Catalin MarianAffiliated withCarcinogenesis, Biomarkers and Epidemiology Program, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University Medical Center
    • , Antonio Gonzalez-MartinAffiliated withDepartment Zoology and Physical Anthropology, Faculty of Biology, University Complutense of Madrid
    • , Gerhard MertensAffiliated withForensic DNA Laboratory, Antwerp University Hospital
    • , Walther ParsonAffiliated withInstitute of Legal Medicine, Innsbruck Medical University
    • , Carlos PeroneAffiliated withNúcleo de Ações e Pesquisa em Apoio Diagnóstico, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (NUPAD/FM-UFMG)
    • , Lourdes PrietoAffiliated withDNA Laboratory, Comisaría general de Policía Científica, University Institute of Research Police Sciences (IUICP)
    • , Haruo TakeshitaAffiliated withDepartment of Legal Medicine, Shimane University School of Medicine
    • , Héctor Rangel VillalobosAffiliated withInstituto de Investigación en Genética Molecular, Centro Universitario de la Cienega (CUCI-UdeG), Universidad de Guadalajara
    • , Zhaoshu ZengAffiliated withDepartment of Legal Medicine, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Zhengzhou University
    • , Lev ZhivotovskyAffiliated withInstitute of General Genetics, The Russian Academy of Sciences
    • , Rui CamachoAffiliated withLaboratory of Artificial Intelligence and Decision Support (LIAAD-INESC)DEI, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto
    • , Nuno A. FonsecaAffiliated withCRACS-INESC Porto LA

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Because of their sensitivity and high level of discrimination, short tandem repeat (STR) maker systems are currently the method of choice in routine forensic casework and data banking, usually in multiplexes up to 15–17 loci. Constraints related to sample amount and quality, frequently encountered in forensic casework, will not allow to change this picture in the near future, notwithstanding the technological developments. In this study, we present a free online calculator named PopAffiliator (http://​cracs.​fc.​up.​pt/​popaffiliator) for individual population affiliation in the three main population groups, Eurasian, East Asian and sub-Saharan African, based on genotype profiles for the common set of STRs used in forensics. This calculator performs affiliation based on a model constructed using machine learning techniques. The model was constructed using a data set of approximately fifteen thousand individuals collected for this work. The accuracy of individual population affiliation is approximately 86%, showing that the common set of STRs routinely used in forensics provide a considerable amount of information for population assignment, in addition to being excellent for individual identification.


Online calculator Genotype profile Autosomal STRs Individual affiliation