DNA profiles from fingernails using direct PCR

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    28 Citations (Scopus)


    We report on the successful routine amplification of DNA profiles from small sections of fingernails using direct PCR. The data are from 40 nail clippings from eight donors where approximately 4 mm2 of nail is added directly to the PCR. The NGM™ kit was used that amplifies 15 STR loci plus amelogenin. No increase in cycle number was used and no enrichment of the PCR products was performed. Full DNA profiles were observed in 17 of the 40 profiles with 21 generating partial DNA profiles. The process omits the DNA extraction process, and hence there is no opportunity to quantify the DNA prior to amplifying the STRs, but by not performing a DNA extraction step, the amount of DNA available for PCR is maximized. Single source DNA profiles were observed in 29 of the 38 profiles obtained. The source of the DNA is assumed to be adhering to the underside of the nail. This simple method offers a significant reduction in time to generate DNA profiles from nail clippings, such as those taken from victims of mass disasters, and should be included into a forensic process relatively easily as it requires no change to manufacturer’s instructions for amplification.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)99-103
    Number of pages5
    JournalForensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2015


    • Direct PCR
    • Fingernails
    • Forensic science
    • NGM STR loci


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