Currently, several different Y-chromosomal phylogenies and haplogroup nomenclatures are presented in scientific literature and at conferences demonstrating the present diversity in Y-chromosomal phylogenetic trees and Y-SNP sets used within forensic and anthropological research. This situation can be ascribed to the exponential growth of the number of Y-SNPs discovered due to mostly next-generation sequencing (NGS) studies. As Y-SNPs and their respective phylogenetic positions are important in forensics, such as for male lineage characterization and paternal bio-geographic ancestry inference, there is a need for forensic geneticists to know how to deal with these newly identified Y-SNPs and phylogenies, especially since these phylogenies are often created with other aims than to carry out forensic genetic research. Therefore, we give here an overview of four categories of currently used Y-chromosomal phylogenies and the associated Y-SNP sets in scientific research in the current NGS era. We compare these categories based on the construction method, their advantages and disadvantages, the disciplines wherein the phylogenetic tree can be used, and their specific relevance for forensic geneticists. Based on this overview, it is clear that an up-to-date reduced tree with a consensus Y-SNP set and a stable nomenclature will be the most appropriate reference resource for forensic research. Initiatives to reach such an international consensus are therefore highly recommended.
Keywords: Forensic DNA profiling; Male lineage discrimination.; Next-generation sequencing; Phylogeny; Y-SNPs; Y-chromosome.
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