Quadruplex and pentaplex systems for polymerase chain reaction amplification of X-chromosomal short tandem repeats DXS101, HPRTB, DXS8377, DXS981 (STRX1) and DXS6789 were developed for automated profiling of liquid and membrane-bound DNA samples. Chinese, Japanese and Thai populations were typed using a quadruplex system, while German and Philippine populations were analyzed using a five-locus system. Out of 88 meioses studied in Philippine family samples at each locus, a possible one repeat deletion (allele 51 to 50) at DXS8377 was observed in a father-daughter pair. Exact tests performed on genotype data from females in the Philippine, German and Thai populations indicated that these groups conform to Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. Exact tests for population differentiation indicate significant variations in allele distributions, particularly at loci DXS101, DXS981 and DXS6789. Considered individually, DXS8377 was the most polymorphic and HPRTB the least polymorphic locus in these five populations. When the forensic efficiency of the quadruplex system was calculated, the combined power of discrimination among males (PD(M)) was no lower than 0.998, while among females the combined PD(F) was at least 0.9999 in all populations. The combined power of paternity exclusion was a minimum of 0.998 in trio cases and 0.98 in motherless cases. The addition of locus DXS6789 to the German and Philippine population databases using a pentaplex increased the forensic efficiency of the analysis system.