Currently, most of the forensic science laboratories used STR DNA profiling of chromosomal DNA as a standard DNA profiling method. However, when dealing with biological samples of human remains and problematic samples (e.g. old stains, decomposed tissue, hair shaft, teeth or bone) STRs DNA profiling has limitations due to sample conditions caused by environmental effects . In this situation, mtDNA sequence analysis is found to be valid alternative and reliable tool for genetic characterization [2, 3, 4]. mtDNA HVI and HVII are found highly variable in the human population . Since the sequence of these hypervariable regions provides a high degree of information for discriminating between unrelated individuals, the forensic identity testing has focused on sequence variation within these two hypervariable regions [6,7,8]. In addition, any living relative may provide a reference sample when an individual is not available for direct comparison with a biological sample. Malaysia consists of a multiracial population with the Malays, Chinese and Indians forming the main ethnic groups. Published database for both HVI and HVII segments of mtDNA on major ethnic Malay population of Malaysia is almost negligible. For forensic application of mtDNA profiling in Malaysia, a comprehensive database on both HVI and HVII regions are essential.
Therefore, in this study 103 maternally unrelated Malay individuals were used for the purposes of mtDNA polymorphism study.