Journal Published Online: 01 May 1998
Volume 43, Issue 3

Interlaboratory Comparison of Autoradiographic DNA Profiling Measurements: Precision and Concordance



Knowledge of the expected uncertainty in restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) measurements is required for confident exchange of such data among different laboratories. The total measurement uncertainty among all Technical Working Group for DNA analysis Methods laboratories has previously been characterized and found to be acceptably small. Casework cell line control measurements provided by six Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and 30 U.S. commercial, local, state, and Federal forensic laboratories enable quantitative determination of the within-laboratory precision and among-laboratory concordance components of measurement uncertainty typical of both sets of laboratories. Measurement precision is the same in the two countries for DNA fragments of size 1000 base pairs (bp) to 10,000 bp. However, the measurement concordance among the RCMP laboratories is clearly superior to that within the U.S. forensic community. This result is attributable to the use of a single analytical protocol in all RCMP laboratories. Concordance among U.S. Laboratories cannot be improved through simple mathematical adjustments. Community-wide efforts focused on improved concordance may be the most efficient mechanism for further reduction of among-laboratory RFLP measurement uncertainty, should the resources required to fully evaluate potential cross-jurisdictional matches become burdensome as the number of RFLP profiles on record increases.

Author Information

Duewer, DL
Analytical Chemistry Division, Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD
Lalonde, SA
Forensic Laboratory Edmonton, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Edmonton, Alberta
Aubin, RA
Life Sciences Division—Biotechnology, Health Canada, Sir F.G. Banting Research Center, Ottawa, Ontario
Fourney, RM
DNA Methods and Data Base Unit, Central Forensic Laboratory, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ottawa, Ontario
Reeder, DJ
Biotechnology Division, Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD
Pages: 7
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Stock #: JFS16170J
ISSN: 0022-1198
DOI: 10.1520/JFS16170J