Optimising direct PCR from anagen hair samples

Renée Ottens, Duncan Taylor, Damien Abarno, Adrian Linacre

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    Anagen hairs are in the active growth phase, and when forcefully removed, may contain an intact root or sheathing. The hair root or sheathing is a source of nucleic DNA and can be amplified using direct PCR. Human identification STR kits are optimised to a small range of input DNA for PCR. Anagen hairs are unable to be quantified prior to amplification and can exhibit characteristics of an over-loaded DNA sample when analysed. The aim of this study was to optimise direct PCR for anagen hair sampling. Two separate modifications to the downstream processes were carried out in order to determine the most effective method at minimising PCR artefacts. Decreasing the cycle number from the standard 29 cycles to 27 cycles when using the NGM™ kit displayed the best results for this method. However, decreasing the cycle number may increase allelic drop-out and would be costly for laboratories to perform an in-house validation. Diluting the PCR product during electrophoresis analysis minimises the effects of PCR artefacts in the same way decreasing the cycle number does. Diluting the PCR product is the most cost-effective method and does not increase the chance of allelic drop-out.

    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2013
    Event25th World Congress of the International Society for Forensic Genetics - Melbourne, Australia
    Duration: 2 Sept 20137 Sept 2013
    Conference number: 25


    Conference25th World Congress of the International Society for Forensic Genetics
    Abbreviated titleISFG 2013


    • Anagen hair
    • Direct PCR
    • Forensic casework
    • Human identification
    • NGM™ STR profiling


    Dive into the research topics of 'Optimising direct PCR from anagen hair samples'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this