Volume 50, Issue 3 (May 2005)
Results from the NIST 2004 DNA Quantitation Study
For optimal DNA short tandem repeat (STR) typing results, the DNA concentration ([DNA]) of the sample must be accurately determined prior to the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification step in the typing process. In early 2004, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) conducted an interlaboratory study to help assess the accuracy of DNA quantitation in forensic DNA laboratories. This study was designed with four primary purposes: (1) to examine concentration effects and to probe performance at the lower DNA concentration levels that are frequently seen in forensic casework; (2) to examine consistency with various methodologies across multiple laboratories; (3) to examine single versus multiple source samples; and (4) to study DNA stability over time and through shipping in two types of storage tubes. Eight DNA samples of [DNA] from 0.05 ng/μL to 1.5 ng/μL were distributed. A total of 287 independent data sets were returned from 80 participants. Results were reported for 19 different DNA quantitation methodologies. Approximately 65% of the data were obtained using traditional slot blot hybridization methods; 21% were obtained using newly available quantitative real-time PCR (Q-PCR) techniques. Information from this interlaboratory study is guiding development of a future NIST Standard Reference Material for Human DNA Quantitation, SRM 2372.