(Received 14 September 2001; accepted 3 November 2002)
Published Online: 2003
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The performance of two commercial multiplex kits that together amplify the 13 core short tandem repeat (STR) loci currently in use by forensic laboratories and the U.S. national Combined DNA Indexing System (CODIS) were evaluated. The typing systems examined were AmpFℓSTR® Profiler Plus™ and AmpFℓSTR COfiler™ (PE Applied Biosystems, Foster City, CA). Electrophoretic separation and detection of the fluorescent PCR products was achieved by capillary electrophoresis (CE) using an ABI Prism® 310 Genetic Analyzer. The studies addressed the on-site validation of the instrument, the software, and each typing system. These studies included instrument sensitivity, resolution, precision, binning, peak height ratios, mixtures, stutter, and the amplification of non-probative and simulated forensic samples. Other additional developmentaltype work is also reported herein, such as species specificity testing and amplification of environmentally insulted samples. Amplification conditions were found to be robust and the primer sets shown to be specific to human DNA. Stutter and peak height ratios fell within limits published by the manufacturer and other laboratories. The data demonstrate that the CE instrument can consistently resolve fragments differing in length by one base and that the ±0.5 base bin used by the Genotyper® software is acceptable for making accurate allele calls. Correct typing results were obtained from non-probative and simulated case samples, as well as samples exposed to outdoor environmental conditions. The results support the conclusion that DNA extracted from biological samples routinely encountered in the forensic laboratory can be reliably analyzed with AmpFℓSTR Profiler Plus and COfiler using CE.
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