This article reports on an evaluation of Promega PowerSeq auto/Y systems prototype on an admixed sample of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, through population data, sensitivity, stutter, and mixture studies.
Forensic DNA typing typically relies on the length-based (LB) separation of PCR products containing short tandem repeat loci (STRs). Massively parallel sequencing (MPS) elucidates an additional level of STR motif and flanking region variation. Also, MPS enables simultaneous analysis of different marker-types - autosomal STRs, SNPs for lineage and identification purposes, reducing both the amount of sample used and the turn-around-time of analysis. Therefore, MPS methodologies are being considered as an additional tool in forensic genetic casework. The PowerSeq™ Auto/Y System (Promega Corp), a multiplex forensic kit for MPS, enables analysis of the 22 autosomal STR markers (plus Amelogenin) from the PowerPlex® Fusion 6C kit and 23 Y-STR markers from the PowerPlex® Y23 kit. Population data were generated from 140 individuals from an admixed sample from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. All samples were processed according to the manufacturers' recommended protocols. Raw data (FastQ) were generated for each indexed sample and analyzed using STRait Razor v2s and PowerSeqv2.config file. The subsequent population data showed the largest increase in expected heterozygosity (23%), from LB to sequence-based (SB) analyses at the D5S818 locus. Unreported allele was found at the D21S11 locus. The random match probability across all loci decreased from 5.9 × 10-28 to 7.6 × 10-33. Sensitivity studies using 1, 0.25, 0.062 and 0.016 ng of DNA input were analyzed in triplicate. Full Y-STR profiles were detected in all samples, and no autosomal allele drop-out was observed with 62 pg of input DNA. For mixture studies, 1 ng of genomic DNA from a male and female sample at 1:1, 1:4, 1:9, 1:19 and 1:49 proportions were analyzed in triplicate. Clearly resolvable alleles (i.e., no stacking or shared alleles) were obtained at a 1:19 male to female contributor ratio. The minus one stutter (− 1) increased with the longest uninterrupted stretch (LUS) allele size reads and according to simple or compound/complex repeats. The haplotype-specific stutter rates add more information for mixed samples interpretation. These data support the use of the PowerSeqTM Auto/Y systems prototype kit (22 autosomal STR loci, 23 Y-STR loci and Amelogenin) for forensic genetics applications. (Publisher Abstract)
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