Analysis of Positive Control STR Experiments Reveals that Results Obtained for FGA, D3S1358, and D13S317 Condition the Success Rate of the Analysis of Routine Reference Samples

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About 120,000 reference samples are analyzed each year in the Forensic Laboratory of Lyon. A total of 1640 positive control experiments used to validate and optimize the analytical method in the routine process were submitted to a multivariate exploratory data analysis approach with the aim of better understanding the underlying sources of variability. The peak heights of the 16 genetic markers targeted by the AmpFℓSTR® Identifiler® STR kit were used as variables of interest. Six different 3130xl genetic analyzers located in the same controlled environment were involved. Two major sources of variability were found: (i) the DNA load of the sample modulates all peak heights in a similar way so that the 16 markers are highly correlated, (ii) the genetic analyzer used with a locus-specific response for peak height and a better sensitivity for the most recently acquired. Three markers (FGA, D3S1358, and D13S317) were found to be of special interest to predict the success rate observed in the routine process.

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