Korean J Leg Med.  2008 May;32(1):61-67.

Application of Single Nucleotide Polymorphism in Forensic Science

  • 1Department of Forensic Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. sdlee@snu.ac.kr


With the development of far advanced techniques in biomedical areas, individual identification using genetic polymorphism has become powerful tool in forensics. Nowadays, use of several commercial kits and automatic fluorescence dye using system have been regarded as the standard method. Short Tandem Repeat(STR) locus, whose polymorphism could be classified as length polymorphism, is usually the target for test. As time goes on, more and more have been revealed about genetic polymorphism, and new type of polymorphisms, so called Single Nucleotide Polymorphism(SNP), has come to the concerns of forensic scientists. Forensic scientists hope that SNPs would give some clues even when conventional STR loci are restricted in practical cases. Degraded sample in which we cannot get appropriate results is one of the cases. Forensic scientists also want to get some phenotype related information. SNP is hoped to solve this problems. As the mechanism for polymorphism is different from that of STR though, special consideration must be given if we want to use SNP routinely in forensic field. We review the brief history of individual identification, the background of introduction of SNP in forensics and the special points that must be discussed before the routine introduction in the field with some important characteristics of SNP.


individual identification; STR; SNP; forensic

MeSH Terms

Forensic Sciences
Polymorphism, Genetic
Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
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