Human short tandem repeat identification using a nanopore-based DNA sequencer: a pilot study

Minoru Asogawa, Ayumu Ohno, So Nakagawa, Eriko Ochiai, Yasuhiro Katahira, Megumi Sudo, Motoki Osawa, Masatoshi Sugisawa, Tadashi Imanishi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Short tandem repeats (STRs) are repetitive DNA sequences that are highly polymorphic and widely used for personal identification in the field of forensic medicine. The standard method for determining the repeat number of STRs is capillary electrophoresis of PCR products; however, the use of DNA sequencing has increased because it can identify same-sized alleles with nucleotide substitutions (iso-alleles). In this study, we performed human STR genotyping using a portable nanopore-based DNA sequencer, the MinION, and evaluated its performance. Because the sequence quality obtained by MinION is considerably lower than those obtained with other DNA sequencers, we developed an original scoring scheme for judging the genotypes from MinION reads. Analysis of seven human samples for 21–45 STR loci yielded an average of 857 thousand reads per sample, and the accuracy of genotyping and iso-allele identification reached 75.7% and 82%, respectively. Although the accuracy is higher than that reported previously, further improvements are required before this method can be practically applied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-24
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Human Genetics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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