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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

A Forensic Genomics Approach for the Identification of Sister Marija Crucifiksa Kozulić

1
Armed Forces Medical Examiner System (AFMES), Dover Air Force Base, Dover, DE 19902, USA
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SNA International, Contractor Supporting the AFMES, Alexandria, VA 22314, USA
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Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Forensic Science Program, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
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Department of Forensic Sciences, University of Split, 21000 Split, Croatia
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Medical School, University of Split, 21000 Split, Croatia
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Clinical Department for Pathology, Legal Medicine and Cytology, Clinical Hospital Center Split, 21000 Split, Croatia
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Department of Forensic Medicine and Criminalistics, University of Rijeka School of Medicine, 51000 Rijeka, Croatia
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Institute for Anthropological Research, Center for Applied Bioanthropology, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
9
National Board of Forensic Medicine, Department of Forensic Medicine, 58758 Linköping, Sweden
10
St. Catherine Specialty Hospital, 49210 Zabok/10000 Zagreb, Croatia
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School of Medicine, University of Osijek, 31000 Osijek, Croatia
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Faculty of Dental Medicine and Health, University of Osijek, 31000 Osijek, Croatia
13
The Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, University of New Haven, New Haven, CT 06516, USA
14
School of Medicine, University of Rijeka, 51000 Rijeka, Croatia
15
Medical School REGIOMED, 96450 Coburg, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2020, 11(8), 938; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11080938
Received: 15 July 2020 / Revised: 9 August 2020 / Accepted: 12 August 2020 / Published: 14 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forensic Mitochondrial Genomics)
Sister Marija Krucifiksa Kozulić (1852–1922) was a Croatian nun who is in consideration for beatification by the Vatican, which is facilitated by the identification of her 20th-century remains. Sister Marija was buried in a tomb in Rijeka, Croatia, along with other nuns including her biological sister, Tereza Kozulić (1861–1933). When the remains were exhumed in 2011, they were found in a deteriorated state and commingled with several other sets of remains. Thus, mitochondrial genome sequencing of the long bones was performed to sort the remains by mitochondrial haplotype. Two similar but unique haplotypes belonging to haplogroup H1bu were identified, and samples from these bones were subjected to autosomal short tandem repeat (STR) and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) sequencing. Although only partial profiles were obtained, the data were sufficient for kinship analysis with the profile of a paternal niece of Sister Marija (Fides Kozulić). The data indicate that it is 574,195-fold more likely that the two sets of skeletal remains represent 2nd-degree relatives of Fides than sisters who are unrelated to Fides. Although it is impossible to discern which set of remains belongs to Marija and which belongs to Tereza, forensic genomics methods have enabled identification of the sisters. View Full-Text
Keywords: forensic genomics; human identification; historical remains; beatification; mitogenome; short tandem repeat (STR); single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP); kinship inference; massively parallel sequencing (MPS); next-generation sequencing (NGS) forensic genomics; human identification; historical remains; beatification; mitogenome; short tandem repeat (STR); single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP); kinship inference; massively parallel sequencing (MPS); next-generation sequencing (NGS)
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Marshall, C.; Sturk-Andreaggi, K.; Gorden, E.M.; Daniels-Higginbotham, J.; Sanchez, S.G.; Bašić, Ž.; Kružić, I.; Anđelinović, Š.; Bosnar, A.; Čoklo, M.; Petaros, A.; McMahon, T.P.; Primorac, D.; Holland, M.M. A Forensic Genomics Approach for the Identification of Sister Marija Crucifiksa Kozulić. Genes 2020, 11, 938.

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