To drive international harmonization of analysis and data interpretation the Institute of Legal Medicine Innsbruck, Medical University of Innsbruck (Institut für Gerichtliche Medizin Innsbruck) co-founded the Canine DNA Profiling (CaDNAP) group in 2003 in collaboration with the German Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt/BKA Wiesbaden). In 2008 the Institute of Veterinary Pathology, Justus-Liebig-University, Giessen (Institut für Veterinärpathologie) joined our group, in 2015 the Institute of Forensic Medicine, University of Zurich (Institut für Rechtsmedizin Zürich).
The attempts of the CaDNAP group have meanwhile been recognized by other communities, such as the International Society for Animal Genetics (ISAG) who adopted some of the recommendations for canine DNA identity testing [Budowle 2005]. In 2011 members of the CaDNAP group were invited as co-authors to publish the recommendations of the International Society for Forensic Genetics regarding the use of non-human (animal) DNA in forensic genetic investigations [Linacre 2011].
In 2014 the CaDNAP group published protocols for the analysis of thirteen dog specific STRs and two sex-specific markers, assembled in two multiplex reactions that were validated according to the above mentioned ISFG guidelines [Berger 2014]. Population genetic parameters were calculated for these markers based on 295 dog samples collected in Austria (124) and Germany (171). A repeat-based nomenclature of the mainly tetrameric STRs and corresponding allelic ladders are presented in this paper. All 146 different alleles included in the ladders were sequenced for correct allele calling. Additionally, the permanent canine cell line (DH82-D3167) was evaluated as standard reference material. Alleles of this sample were designated by direct comparison to the allelic ladders and by sequence analysis of the repeat array and the flanking upstream and downstream region of all alleles. Additionally, the mitochondrial DNA haplotype of the cell line was determined by sequencing the hypervariable segments of the control region (CR) by two different laboratories independently. The difference-coded annotation was performed with respect to the generally accepted reference sequence (U96639.2).
The analysis of the canine mtDNA control region (CR) is often the last resort for DNA typing when nuclear DNA analysis fails to give useful results. This is particularly the case for the analysis of canine hairs that represent the most common crime scene evidence originating from dogs. According to the notation guidelines for human mtDNA variations of the canine mtDNA are recorded by the differences to a reference sequence (U96639.2 or NC_002008).
Front row,from left to right: U. Schleenbecker [BKA], A. Hellmann [BKA], N. V. Morf [RMZ], C. Berger [GMI], B. Berger [GMI]
Back row: W. Hecht [Giessen], J. Heinrich [GMI], U. Rohleder [BKA], W. Parson [GMI]
Institut für Gerichtliche Medizin, Medizinische Universität Innsbruck
- Dr. Burkhard Berger
- Dr. Cordula Berger
- Josephin Heinrich, MSc
- A.Univ.Prof. Dr. Walther Parson
Bundeskriminalamt Wiesbaden, Kriminaltechnisches Institut
KT 32 - Pflanzen-, Tier- und Bodenspuren
- Dr. Andreas Hellmann
- Udo Rohleder
- Dr. Uwe Schleenbecker
Institut für Veterinärpathologie, Giessen
- Dr. Werner Hecht
- Nadja V. Morf, MSc