Zahra, Nathalie, Hadi, Ss, Smith, Judith Alexis, Iyengar, Arati and Goodwin, William H
Development of internal amplification controls for DNA profiling with the AmpFℓSTR® SGM Plus® kit.
DNA extracted from forensic samples can be degraded and also contain co-extracted contaminants that inhibit PCR. The effects of DNA degradation and PCR inhibition are often indistinguishable when examining a DNA profile. Two internal amplification controls (IACs) were developed to improve quality control of PCR using the AmpFℓSTR® SGM Plus® kit. The co-amplification of these controls with DNA samples was used to monitor amplification efficiency and detect PCR inhibitors. IAC fragments of 90 and 410 bp (IAC90 and IAC410) were generated from the plasmid pBR322 using tailed primers and then amplified with ROX-labelled primers. Co-amplification of IAC90 and IAC410 was performed with varying amounts of template DNA, degraded DNA and DNA contaminated with humic acid, heme and indigo dye. Both IAC90 and IAC410 were successfully amplified with human DNA without significantly affecting the quality of the DNA profile, even with DNA amounts lower than 0.5 ng. In the presence of inhibitors, the IAC90 signal was still present after all human DNA loci fail to amplify; in contrast, the IAC410 signal was reduced or absent at low levels of inhibition. Amplification of the two IACs provided an internal PCR control and allowed partial profiles caused by inhibition to be distinguished from degraded DNA profiles.