Genetic Polymorphism of 24 Autosomal STR in the Population of Rwanda


Rwanda is one of the smallest countries of Africa, where forensic genetic studies are rarely being conducted and very few DNA databases have been developed. Short tandem repeats (STRs) polymorphisms were investigated in 505 unrelated Rwandese by using the HUMDNA TYPING (Yanhuang) Kit. The following STRs were targeted: D3S1358, D13S317, D7S820, D16S539, SE33, D10S1248, D5S818, D21S11, TPOX, D1S1656, D6S1043, D19S433, D22S1045, D8S1179, Penta E, D2S441, D12S391, D2S1338, vWA, Penta D, TH01, D18S51, CSF1PO and FGA. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the genetic diversity and explore the potential of applying these 24 STR in 505 Rwandan population in forensics. A total of 360 alleles, with corresponding allele frequencies in the range from 0.001 to 0.442, were found in the Rwandan population. SE33 presented the highest polymorphism (PIC=0.921) among these 24 loci, whereas D13S317 presented the lowest one (PIC=0.671). No deviation from the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium was observed for any of the 24 loci. The forensic parameters, including the combined power of discrimination (PD and the combined exclusion power, have demonstrated that this panel of 24 STRs is highly informative and useful for forensic applications such as individuals’ identification and paternity tests. Additionally, the genetic distances between Rwanda population and other 24 published populations were calculated based on 8 overlapping loci with the polygenetic tree revealing significant clusters in the populations associated with their geographic locations and their historical relationship.

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The authors gratefully thanks to all the Rwanda donors for participating in the present study. The author also would like to thank the Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI-Shenzhen) laboratory for the support during the investigation, also the Rwanda Ministry of Health and of Xi’an Jiaotong University Health Science Center for their cooperation. Ethical clearance was sought from the Ministry of Health-Rwanda. The protocols including sample collections and subsequent analyses were approved by the ethics committee of Xi’an Jiaotong University Health Science Center. All individuals were adequately informed and an appropriate informed consent was obtained before their participation in blood donor by Rwanda Transfusion Centre Laboratory. Before starting our actual sampling, the head of the laboratory approaches participants to inform them about our study.

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Correspondence to Bao Zhang or Chunxia Yan.

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Natural Science Foundation of Shaanxi Province (2017JQ8010). Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (xjj2017135). Health Research Fund Project of Shaanxi (2018A010).

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Paul, G., Liu, J., Ma, P. et al. Genetic Polymorphism of 24 Autosomal STR in the Population of Rwanda. Biochem Genet (2021).

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  • DNA typing
  • Rwandan populations
  • Short tandem repeats (STR)
  • HUMDNA TYPING (Yanhuang-PCR)
  • Technology acceptance model