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NCJ Number: 237514 Find in a Library
Title: Stochastic Model of the Processes in PCR Based Amplification of STR DNA in Forensic Applications
Journal: Forensic Science International: Genetics  Volume:6  Issue:1  Dated:January 2012  Pages:17-25
Author(s): Jos Weusten; Jos Herbergs
Date Published: January 2012
Page Count: 9
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Ireland
Annotation: In forensic DNA profiling use is made of the well-known technique of PCR. When the amount of DNA is high, generally unambiguous profiles can be obtained, but for low copy number DNA stochastic effects can play a major role. In order to shed light on these stochastic effects, the authors present a simple model for the amplification process.
Abstract: According to the model, three possible things can happen to an individual single DNA strand in each complete cycle: successful amplification, no amplification, or amplification with the introduction of stutter. The model is developed in mathematical terms using a recursive approach: given the numbers of chains at a given cycle, the numbers in the next can be described using a multinomial probability distribution. A full set of recursive relations is derived for the expectations and (co)variances of the number of amplicon chains with no, 1 or 2 stutters. The exact mathematical solutions of this set are given, revealing the development of the expectations and (co)variances as function of the cycle number. The equations reveal that the expected number of amplicon chains without stutter grows exponentially with the cycle number, but for the chains with stutter the relation is more complex. The relative standard deviation on the numbers of chains (coefficient of variation) is inversely proportional to the square root of the expected number of DNA strands entering the amplification. As such, for high copy number DNA the stochastic effects can be ignored, but they play an important role at low concentrations. For the allelic peak, the coefficient of variation rapidly stabilizes after a few cycles, but for the chains with stutter the decrease is more slowly. Further, the ratio of the expected intensity of the stutter peak over that of the allelic peak increases linearly with the number of cycles. Stochastic models, like the one developed in the current paper, can be important in further developing interpretation rules in a Bayesian context. (Published Abstract)
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): DNA fingerprinting; Forensic sciences; Investigative techniques; Suspect identification; Victim identification
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