Evaluation of Degradation in DNA from Males with a Quantitative Gender Typing, Endpoint PCR Multiplex

Byron C. Smith, Emily Vandegrift, Valerie Mattimore Fuller, Robert W. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Evidentiary samples submitted to a forensic DNA laboratory occasionally yield DNA that is degraded. Samples of intact chromosomal DNA (both nuclear and mitochondrial) were subjected to a heating protocol to induce DNA degradation. The DNAs were then analyzed using a multiplex PCR assay that amplifies targets of low and high molecular weight on the X/Y and mitochondrial chromosomes. If degradation is random, the amplification of larger DNA targets should be more adversely affected by degradation than smaller targets. In nuclear and mitochondrial DNA from a male donor, exhibiting degradation, DNA quantity estimates based upon higher molecular weight amplicons (HMW) are significantly lower than estimates made using low molecular weight (LMW) Q-TAT amplicons. DNA degradation estimated using this approach correlated well with actual fluorescence associated with HMW and LMW STR alleles amplified from the same genomic DNA templates. Q-TAT is thus useful not only as a quantitation tool, but also as an indicator of template degradation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-408
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Forensic Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2015


  • Amelogenin
  • DNA degradation
  • Endpoint PCR
  • Forensic science
  • Q-TAT assay
  • Quantitative fluorescence
  • SRY


Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluation of Degradation in DNA from Males with a Quantitative Gender Typing, Endpoint PCR Multiplex'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this