International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 121, Issue 5, pp 359–363 | Cite as

Y-chromosomal microsatellite mutation rates in a population sample from northwestern Germany

  • Carsten Hohoff
  • Koji Dewa
  • Ulla Sibbing
  • Karolin Hoppe
  • Peter Forster
  • Bernd Brinkmann
Original Article


To estimate Y-chromosomal short tandem repeat (Y-STR) mutation rates, 15 loci (i.e., DYS19, DYS389 I/II, DYS390, and DYS393; DYS437, DYS438, DYS439, and DYS385; DYS391, DYS392, YCA II, and DXYS156) were analyzed in a sample of 1,029 father/son pairs from Westphalia, northwestern Germany. Among 15,435 meiotic allele transfers, 32 mutations were observed; thus, the mutation rate across all 15 Y-STR loci was 2.1 × 10−3 per locus (95% C.I.: 1.5–3.0 × 10−3). With the exception of a three-repeat mutation at DYS385, all remaining mutations were single repeat mutations. Repeat losses were more frequent than gains (20:12), and the mutation rate appeared to increase with age. The Y haplogroups that were detected in the individuals showing a mutation reflect the haplogroup distribution in the Westphalian population. Additionally, the correlation of surnames and haplotypes was tested: Only 49 surnames occurred more than once, and only two men with the same rare surname shared the same haplotype. All other men with identical surnames carried different haplotypes.


Y-STRs Mutation rates Microsatellites 



The authors thank M. Heinrich (present address: Institute of Legal Medicine, Freiburg, Germany) for Y-SNP typing.

Supplementary material

414_2006_123_MOESM1_ESM.xls (5.4 mb)
XLS (5 626 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carsten Hohoff
    • 1
  • Koji Dewa
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ulla Sibbing
    • 1
  • Karolin Hoppe
    • 1
  • Peter Forster
    • 3
  • Bernd Brinkmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Rechtsmedizin, Universitätsklinikum MünsterMünsterGermany
  2. 2.Department of Legal Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine and Dental ScienceNiigata UniversityNiigataJapan
  3. 3.McDonald Institute for Archaeological ResearchUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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