A comparison of methods for forensic DNA extraction: Chelex-100(®) and the QIAGEN DNA Investigator Kit (manual and automated).
Centre for Forensic Science, Department of Pure & Applied Chemistry, University of Strathclyde, Royal College, 204 George Street, Glasgow G1 1XW, United Kingdom.
Efficient isolation of DNA from a sample is the basis for successful forensic DNA profiling. There are many DNA extraction methods available and they vary in their ability to efficiently extract the DNA; as well as in processing time, operator intervention, contamination risk and ease of use. In recent years, automated robots have been made available which speed up processing time and decrease the amount of operator input. This project was set up to investigate the efficiency of three DNA extraction methods, two manual (Chelex(®)-100 and the QIAGEN DNA Investigator Kit) and one automated (QIAcube), using both buccal cells and blood stains as the DNA source. Extracted DNA was quantified using real-time PCR in order to assess the amount of DNA present in each sample. Selected samples were then amplified using AmpFlSTR SGM Plus amplification kit. The results suggested that there was no statistical difference between results gained for the different methods investigated, but the automated QIAcube robot made sample processing much simpler and quicker without introducing DNA contamination.
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Highly potent human hematopoietic stem cells first emerge in the intraembryonic aorta-gonad-mesonephros region.
Andrejs Ivanovs, Stanislav Rybtsov, Lindsey Welch, Richard A Anderson, Marc L Turner, Alexander Medvinsky
MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH16 4UU, Scotland, UK.
Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) emerge during embryogenesis and maintain hematopoiesis in the adult organism. Little is known about the embryonic development of human HSCs. We demonstrate that human HSCs emerge first in the aorta-gonad-mesonephros (AGM) region, specifically in the dorsal aorta, and only later appear in the yolk sac, liver, and placenta. AGM region cells transplanted into immunodeficient mice provide long-term high level multilineage hematopoietic repopulation. Human AGM region HSCs, although present in low numbers, exhibit a very high self-renewal potential. A single HSC derived from the AGM region generates at least 300 daughter HSCs in primary recipients, which disseminate throughout the entire recipient bone marrow and are retransplantable. These findings highlight the vast regenerative potential of the earliest human HSCs and set a new standard for in vitro generation of HSCs from pluripotent stem cells for the purpose of regenerative medicine.
A comparison between direct PCR and extraction to generate DNA profiles from samples retrieved from various substrates.
Centre for Forensic Science, University of Strathclyde, Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry, Royal College Building, 204 George Street, G1 1XW Glasgow, UK. email@example.com
Direct PCR generates DNA profiles from samples without using the extraction process. During sample extraction, DNA may be lost due to the methods used, which can affect the quality of the DNA profile obtained. This is not the case with direct PCR, where the sample is transferred directly into the PCR tube. Here, we report on the ability of direct PCR to generate DNA profiles from low amounts of control DNA retrieved from various surfaces using PowerPlex 16 HS. A comparison is made with samples undergoing a preliminary extraction stage using QiaAmp DNA Micro kits. Samples subjected to direct PCR generated DNA profiles with higher peak heights and lower allele dropout on all the different substrates tested when compared to the samples subjected to extraction. The amount of DNA retrieved from each substrate also varied even though the same amount of starting material was deposited, proving that the type of substrate can affect the retrieval of DNA.
Int J Legal Med. 2011 Feb 19;: 21336638
Centre for Forensic Science, University of Strathclyde, 204 George Street, Glasgow, G1 1XW, UK, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here, we applied the Taguchi method, an engineering optimization process, to successfully determine the optimal conditions for three SYBR Green I-based quantitative PCR assays. This method balanced the effects of all factors and their associated levels by using an orthogonal array rather than a factorial array. Instead of running 27 experiments with the conventional factorial method, the Taguchi method achieved the same optimal conditions using only nine experiments, saving valuable resources.
Evidence that the recessive bymovirus resistance locus rym4 in barley corresponds to the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E gene.
Konstantin Kanyuka, Arnis Druka, David G Caldwell, Anna Tymon, Nicola McCallum, Robbie Waugh, Michael J Adams
Wheat Pathogenesis Programme, Plant-Pathogen Interactions Division, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Hertfordshire AL5 2JQ, UK.
SUMMARY Recent studies have shown that resistance in several dicotyledonous plants to viruses in the genus Potyvirus is controlled by recessive alleles of the plant translation initiation factor eIF4E or eIF(iso)4E genes. Here we provide evidence that the barley rym4 gene locus, controlling immunity to viruses in the genus Bymovirus, corresponds to eIF4E. A molecular marker based on the sequence of eIF4E was developed and used to demonstrate that eIF4E and rym4 map to the same genetic interval on chromosome 3HL in barley. Another genetic marker was developed that detects a polymorphism in the coding sequence of eIF4E and consistently distinguishes between rym4 and susceptible barley cultivars of diverse parentage. The eIF4E gene product from barley genotypes carrying rym4 and allelic rym5 and rym6 genes, originating from separate exotic germplasm, and a novel resistant allele that we identified through a reverse genetics approach all contained unique amino acid substitutions compared with the wild-type protein. Three-dimensional models of the barley eIF4E protein revealed that the polymorphic residues identified are all located at or near the mRNA cap-binding pocket, similarly to recent findings from studies on recessive potyvirus resistance in dicotyledonous plants. These new data complement our earlier observations that specific mutations in bymovirus VPg are responsible for overcoming rym4/5-controlled resistance. Because the potyviral VPg is known to interact with eIF4E in dicotyledonous plants, it appears that monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous plants have evolved a similar strategy to combat VPg-encoding viruses in the family Potyviridae.
Centre for Forensic Science, University of Strathclyde, 204 George Street, Glasgow, United Kingdom, G1 1XW.
Degraded forensic samples have proved difficult to analyze and interpret. New analysis techniques are constantly being discovered and improved but researchers have overlooked the structural properties that could prevent or slow the process of degradation. In theory, DNA that are bound to histones as nucleosomes are less prone to degradation, because nucleosomes prevent DNA from being exposed to degradative enzymes. In this study we determined the probability of 60 forensic DNA markers to be bound to histones based on their base sequence composition. Two web-based tools - NXSensor and nuScore - were used to analyze four hundred base pairs surrounding each DNA marker for properties that inhibit or promote the binding of DNA to histones. Our results showed that the majority of markers analyzed were likely to be bound as nucleosomes. Selection of the markers that are more protected to form a multiplex could increase the chance of obtaining a better balanced, easier to interpret DNA profile from degraded samples.
Forensic Sci Int Genet. 2010 Mar 2;: 20457074
A comparison of mini-STRs versus standard STRs-Results of a collaborative European (EDNAP) exercise.
Centre for Forensic Science, University of Strathclyde, 204 George Street, Glasgow G1 1XW, UK.
Scottish Crop Research Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee, UK DD2 5DA. email@example.com
For most of the past century, chemical and physical mutagens have been used in plant genetic research to introduce novel genetic variation. In crop improvement, more than 2000 plant varieties that contain induced mutations have been released for cultivation having faced none of the regulatory restrictions imposed on genetically modified material. In plant science, mutational approaches have found extensive use in forward genetics and for enhancer and suppressor screens - particularly in model organisms where positional cloning is easily achieved. However, new approaches that combine mutagenesis with novel and sensitive methods to detect induced DNA sequence variation are establishing a new niche for mutagenesis in the expanding area of (crop) plant functional genomics and providing a bridge that links discovery in models to application in crops.
Scottish Crop Research Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee DD2 5DA, UK.
Two large-scale ethylmethanesulfonate (EMS) mutant populations from barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) cv. Optic have been developed to promote both forward and reverse genetics in this crop. Leaf material and seed from approximately 20 000 M(2) plants were individually harvested, freeze-dried and archived. DNA was isolated from 9216 plants from the 20 and 30 mm EMS treatments and assembled into 1152 eight-plant pools. To facilitate PCR-based mutation scanning an approach has been employed that combines cleavage of heteroduplexes using the Cel nuclease (Cel I), post-cleavage intercalating dye labeling and the subsequent detection of cleaved products on a Transgenomic WAVE-HS. The populations were evaluated by screening for induced mutations in two genes of interest and the induced mutations were validated by sequence analysis. To enhance the screening process, 12-16 M(3) progeny from each of the M(2) plants were assessed for visible phenotypes and the data entered into a web accessible database (http://bioinf.scri.sari.ac.uk/distilling/distilling.html).
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Development of PCR internal controls for DNA profiling with the AmpFℓSTR® SGM Plus® amplification kit.
School of Forensic and Investigative Sciences, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
Forensic DNA profiling uses a series of commercial kits that co-amplify several loci in one reaction; the products of the PCR are fluorescently labelled and analysed using CE. Before CE, an aliquot of the PCR is mixed with formamide and an internal lane size standard. Using the SGM Plus amplification kit, we have developed two internal non-amplified controls of 80 bp and 380 bp that are labelled with ROX fluorescent dye and added to the PCR. Combined with two internal amplification controls of 90 bp and 410 bp, they provide additional controls for the PCR, electrokinetic injection, and CE and also function as an internal size standard.
Establishing a novel automated magnetic bead-based method for the extraction of DNA from a variety of forensic samples.
LKA35 (DNA-Analytik), Landeskriminalamt Hamburg, Bruno-Georges-Platz 1, 22297 Hamburg, Germany.
Automated systems have been increasingly utilized for DNA extraction by many forensic laboratories to handle growing numbers of forensic casework samples while minimizing the risk of human errors and assuring high reproducibility. The step towards automation however is not easy: The automated extraction method has to be very versatile to reliably prepare high yields of pure genomic DNA from a broad variety of sample types on different carrier materials. To prevent possible cross-contamination of samples or the loss of DNA, the components of the kit have to be designed in a way that allows for the automated handling of the samples with no manual intervention necessary. DNA extraction using paramagnetic particles coated with a DNA-binding surface is predestined for an automated approach. For this study, we tested different DNA extraction kits using DNA-binding paramagnetic particles with regard to DNA yield and handling by a Freedom EVO(®)150 extraction robot (Tecan) equipped with a Te-MagS magnetic separator. Among others, the extraction kits tested were the ChargeSwitch(®)Forensic DNA Purification Kit (Invitrogen), the PrepFiler™Automated Forensic DNA Extraction Kit (Applied Biosystems) and NucleoMag™96 Trace (Macherey-Nagel). After an extensive test phase, we established a novel magnetic bead extraction method based upon the NucleoMag™ extraction kit (Macherey-Nagel). The new method is readily automatable and produces high yields of DNA from different sample types (blood, saliva, sperm, contact stains) on various substrates (filter paper, swabs, cigarette butts) with no evidence of a loss of magnetic beads or sample cross-contamination.
A comparison of DNA collection and retrieval from two swab types (cotton and nylon flocked swab) when processed using three QIAGEN extraction methods.
Directorate of Forensic Services, Metropolitan Police Service, London SW1H 0BG, U.K. Robert.Brownlow@met.pnn.police.uk
The Metropolitan Police Service currently uses cotton swabs to retrieve DNA for forensic profiling. Recently, a new nylon flocked swab type has become available from Copan (MicroRheologics, Brescia, Italy) that it is claimed, offers increased sample recovery and release yields. If true, the flocked swab may have important applications in DNA evidence retrieval. This study examines the DNA retrieval capability of cotton and nylon flocked swabs when extracted using three common extraction platforms (QIAcube, BioRobot EZ1 and manually processed QIAamp DNA investigator kit). Results indicate that both swab types are capable of recovering high percentages of DNA (>50%); however, the extraction platform selected was shown to have a significant effect upon DNA retrieval. Across all experiments, the cotton swab combined with the spin-column extractions was shown to be most effective, with the nylon swab and BioRobot EZ1 combination being the least effective. These findings illustrate the importance of extraction method selection.
Department of Seafood Science, National Kaohsiung Marine University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. firstname.lastname@example.org
Salmon eggs are common in Japanese sushi and other seafood products; however, certain fish eggs are used as counterfeit salmon eggs which are found in foods and processed products. This study develops a simple, rapid, and cost-effective method for DNA extraction, filtration (FT) and dilution (DL) protocols from a single salmon egg with good DNA quality for real-time PCR amplification. The DNA amount, DNA quality, and real-time PCR performance for different dilutions and different lengths of PCR amplicons were evaluated and compared with the common Qiagen tissue kit (QTK) and Chelex-100-based (CX) protocols. The extracted DNA from a single salmon egg using the FT or DL protocol can be applied in phylogenic research, food authentication and post-marketing monitoring of genetically modified (GM) food products.
Optimization of Toxoplasma gondii DNA extraction from amniotic fluid using NucliSENS easyMAG and comparison with QIAamp DNA minikit.
Laboratoire de Parasitologie-Mycologie, Centre Hospitalo-Universitaire de la Timone, 264 rue St-Pierre, 13385, Marseille CEDEX 05, France. email@example.com
Antenatal diagnosis of congenital toxoplasmosis relies on PCR in amniotic fluid. Because parasitic load is often low, DNA extraction must be optimized. Manual methods remain widespread although automated methods appear more effective. This study aimed at optimizing an automated method and at comparing it with a widespread manual method: QIAamp DNA minikit. To optimize NucliSens easyMAG, we evaluated the addition of proteinase K pre-treatment and the increase of the amount of silica particles used for the extraction. The optimized method was then compared to QIAamp DNA minikit on samples containing less than 25 tachyzoites/ml. NucliSens easyMAG DNA yield was improved after proteinase K pre-treatment (p < 0.01), but not with a higher silica particle input. The optimized method yielded more positive PCRs than the manual method, especially for samples containing 5 tachyzoites/ml or less (71% vs 26%, p < 10(-4)). The DNA amount in samples found positive by PCR was higher after optimized automated extraction than after manual extraction (p < 10(-4)). Proteinase K pre-treatment should be added to extract DNA from amniotic fluid using NucliSens easyMAG. Using this optimized automated method rather than manual methods would improve the sensitivity of Toxoplasma PCR and simplify the daily workflow.
J Lab Autom. 2011 Apr ;16 (2):134-40 21609694
Automated extraction of DNA from blood and PCR setup using a Tecan Freedom EVO liquid handler for forensic genetic STR typing of reference samples.
Section of Forensic Genetics, Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark. firstname.lastname@example.org
We have implemented and validated automated protocols for DNA extraction and PCR setup using a Tecan Freedom EVO liquid handler mounted with the Te-MagS magnetic separation device (Tecan, Männedorf, Switzerland). The protocols were validated for accredited forensic genetic work according to ISO 17025 using the Qiagen MagAttract DNA Mini M48 kit (Qiagen GmbH, Hilden, Germany) from fresh whole blood and blood from deceased individuals. The workflow was simplified by returning the DNA extracts to the original tubes minimizing the risk of misplacing samples. The tubes that originally contained the samples were washed with MilliQ water before the return of the DNA extracts. The PCR was setup in 96-well microtiter plates. The methods were validated for the kits: AmpFℓSTR Identifiler, SGM Plus and Yfiler (Applied Biosystems, Foster City, CA), GenePrint FFFL and PowerPlex Y (Promega, Madison, WI). The automated protocols allowed for extraction and addition of PCR master mix of 96 samples within 3.5h. In conclusion, we demonstrated that (1) DNA extraction with magnetic beads and (2) PCR setup for accredited, forensic genetic short tandem repeat typing can be implemented on a simple automated liquid handler leading to the reduction of manual work, and increased quality and throughput.
Development of internal amplification controls for DNA profiling with the AmpFℓSTR(®) SGM Plus(®) kit.
School of Forensic and Investigative Sciences, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
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.
Comparative evaluation of automated and manual commercial DNA extraction methods for detection of Francisella tularensis DNA from suspensions and spiked swabs by real-time polymerase chain reaction.
Bioterrorism Rapid Response and Advanced Technology (BRRAT) Laboratory, Laboratory Preparedness and Response Branch (LPRB), Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections (DPEI), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, GA 30333, USA. email@example.com
This study evaluated commercial automated and manual DNA extraction methods for the isolation of Francisella tularensis DNA suitable for real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis from cell suspensions and spiked cotton, foam, and polyester swabs. Two automated methods, the MagNA Pure Compact and the QIAcube, were compared to 4 manual methods, the IT 1-2-3 DNA sample purification kit, the MasterPure Complete DNA and RNA purification kit, the QIAamp DNA blood mini kit, and the UltraClean Microbial DNA isolation kit. The methods were compared using 6 F. tularensis strains representing the 2 subspecies which cause the majority of reported cases of tularemia in humans. Cell viability testing of the DNA extracts showed that all 6 extraction methods efficiently inactivated F. tularensis at concentrations of ≤10⁶ CFU/mL. Real-time PCR analysis using a multitarget 5' nuclease assay for F. tularensis revealed that the PCR sensitivity was equivalent using DNA extracted by the 2 automated methods and the manual MasterPure and QIAamp methods. These 4 methods resulted in significantly better levels of detection from bacterial suspensions and performed equivalently for spiked swab samples than the remaining 2. This study identifies optimal DNA extraction methods for processing swab specimens for the subsequent detection of F. tularensis DNA using real-time PCR assays. Furthermore, the results provide diagnostic laboratories with the option to select from 2 automated DNA extraction methods as suitable alternatives to manual methods for the isolation of DNA from F. tularensis.
J Med Virol. 2011 Jun ;83 (6):1042-7 21503918
Comparative evaluation of different DNA extraction methods for HPV genotyping by linear array and INNO-LiPA.
Maria Gabriella Donà, Maria Benevolo, Fulvia Pimpinelli, Mara Battista, Francesca Rollo, Francesca Stivali, Antonella Moscarelli, Massimo Giuliani, Aldo Di Carlo, Amina Vocaturo
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Unit, San Gallicano Dermatological Institute, Rome, Italy. firstname.lastname@example.org
In order to investigate the influence of DNA extraction on two PCR-based HPV genotyping tests (Linear Array, Roche and INNO-LiPA Extra, Innogenetics), three different procedures were used to purify DNA from 28 cervico-vaginal samples tested previously by the Hybrid Capture 2: the AmpliLute Liquid Media Extraction kit (Roche), the QIAamp DNA Blood mini kit (QIAGEN), and the NucliSENS EasyMAG automated platform (bioMérieux). All HC2-positive samples were found positive by both assays, independently of the extract used. Type-specific concordance (i.e., identical HPV type-specific profile in all the extracts of the same sample) was observed in 55% and 75% of the cases testing samples by the Linear Array and the INNO-LiPA, respectively. Using the DNA extracted with the two manual methods the results were concordant in 75% of the cases both for the Linear Array and the INNO-LiPA. When comparing the Linear Array results obtained on either of the two manual extracts with those obtained following automated extraction, 65% of the samples showed type-specific concordance in both cases. The INNO-LiPA results were concordant in 80% of the cases comparing the AmpliLute versus the automated extract, while concordant results were observed in 90% of the cases when comparing the QIAGEN versus the automated extract. In conclusion, the Linear Array and INNO-LiPA results are affected by the method of DNA extraction. Consequently, different HPV type-specific profiles may be observed using different extracts of the same sample. The use of consistent protocols for DNA purification is a priority to guarantee intra-assay reproducibility over time.
Forensic Sci Int Genet. 2011 Apr 3;: 21466982
Valerie C Tucker, Andrew J Hopwood, Cynthia J Sprecher, Robert S McLaren, Dawn R Rabbach, Martin G Ensenberger, Jonelle M Thompson, Douglas R Storts
Research & Development, the Forensic Science Service, 2960 Trident Court, Birmingham Business Park, Solihull Parkway, Birmingham B37 7YN, UK.
We describe the developmental validation study performed on the PowerPlex(®) ESX 16 (European Standard Extended 16) and the PowerPlex(®) ESX 17 Systems, part of a suite of four new DNA profiling kits developed by Promega in response to the ENFSI and EDNAP groups' call for new STR multiplexes for Europe. The PowerPlex(®) ESX 16 System combines the 11 loci compatible with the UK National DNA Database, contained within the AmpFlSTR(®) SGM Plus(®) PCR Amplification Kit, with five additional loci: D2S441, D10S1248, D22S1045, D1S1656 and D12S391. The multiplex was designed to incorporate these five new loci as mini- and midi-STRs while maintaining the loci found in the AmpFlSTR(®) SGM Plus(®) kit as standard size. The PowerPlex(®) ESX 17 System amplifies the same loci as the PowerPlex(®) ESX 16 System, but with the addition of a primer pair for the SE33 locus. Tests were designed to address the developmental validation guidelines issued by the Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods (SWGDAM), and those of the DNA Advisory Board (DAB). Samples processed include DNA mixtures, PCR reactions spiked with inhibitors, a sensitivity series, and 306 United Kingdom donor samples to determine concordance with data generated with the AmpFlSTR(®) SGM Plus(®) kit. Allele frequencies from 242 white Caucasian samples collected in the United Kingdom are also presented. The PowerPlex(®) ESX 16 and ESX 17 Systems are robust and sensitive tools, suitable for the analysis of forensic DNA samples. Full profiles were routinely observed with 62.5pg of a fully heterozygous single source DNA template. In mixture analysis, a range of 52-95% of unique minor contributor alleles was observed at 19:1 mixture ratios where only 25pg of the minor component was present. Improved sensitivity combined with the robustness afforded by smaller amplicons has substantially improved the quantity of information obtained from degraded samples, and the improved chemistry confers exceptional tolerance to high levels of laboratory prepared inhibitors.