Author(s): Verheij S, Harteveld J, Sijen T, Verheij S, Harteveld J, Sijen T
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Abstract Forensic DNA typing involves a multi-step workflow. Steps include DNA isolation, quantification, amplification of a set of short tandem repeat (STR) markers, separation of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) products by capillary electrophoresis (CE) and DNA profile analysis and interpretation. With that, the process takes around 10-12h. For several scenarios it may be very valuable to speed up this process and obtain an interpretable DNA profile, suited to search a DNA database, within a few hours. For instance in cases of national security, abduction with danger of life, risk of repetition by a serial perpetrator or when custody time of suspects is limited. By a direct and rapid PCR approach we reduced the total DNA profiling time to 2-3h after which genotyping information for the 10 STR markers plus the amelogenin (AMEL) marker present in the commercially available AmpFℓSTR(®) SGM Plus™ (SGM+) profiling kit is obtained. This reduction in time is achieved by using the following elements: (1) the inhibitor tolerant, highly processive Phusion(®) Flash DNA polymerase; (2) a modified, non-adenylated allelic ladder; (3) the quick PIKO(®) thermal cycler system with ultra-thin walled reaction tubes; (4) profile interpretation guidelines with an increased allele calling threshold, modified stutter ratios and marked low-level artefact peaks and (5) regulation of sample input by the use of mini-tapes that lift a limited amount of cell material from swabs or fabrics. The procedure is specifically effective for high level DNA, single source samples such as samples containing saliva, blood, semen and hair roots. Success rates, defined as a complete DNA profile, depend on stain type and surface. Due to the use of tape lifting as the sampling technique, the swab or fabric remains dry and intact and can be analyzed at a later stage using regular procedures. Validation experiments were performed which showed that the protocol effectively instructs researchers unfamiliar with the procedure. We have incorporated direct and rapid PCR in a "DNA-6h" service that can assist police investigations by rapidly deriving DNA information from trace evidence left by a perpetrator, searching the STR profile against a DNA database and reporting the outcomes to police or prosecution. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Forensic Sci Int Genet
and referenced in Journal of Forensic Research