Novel methods of molecular sex identification from skeletal tissue using the amelogenin gene

Victoria Gibbon*, Maria Paximadis, Goran Štrkalj, Paul Ruff, Clem Penny

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    47 Citations (Scopus)


    Sex identification from skeletal material is of vital importance in order to reconstruct the demographic variables of an individual in forensic genetics and ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis. When the use of conventional methods of sex identification are impossible, molecular analysis of the X and Y chromosomes provides an expedient solution. Two novel systems of molecular sex identification suitable for skeletal material using the amelogenin gene are described, beginning in intron 2-3, spanning exon 3 and ending in intron 3-4. This area was optimal for sexing, as it includes 14 sex-specific polymorphic regions in addition to an indel (insertion or deletion of nucleotides). Once optimised and working with 100% efficiency on the controls, these procedures were applied to a collection of miscellaneous archaeological skeletons (ex situ) sourced from the Raymond Dart Collection of Human Skeletons (Dart Collection). This collection was used to optimise these techniques for skeletal remains derived from an archaeological context. These methods produced 46.66% sex results for the ex situ sample, which is within the normal range for aDNA studies. These new techniques are optimal for sex identification, with both the inherent control of isolating many sex-specific features and combined with the use of sensitive micro-fluidic electrophoresis.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)74-79
    Number of pages6
    JournalForensic Science International: Genetics
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


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