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Improved STR typing of telogen hair root and hair shaft DNA

Müller, Kathrin, Klein, Rachel, Miltner, Erich, Wiegand, Peter
Electrophoresis 2007 v.28 no.16 pp. 2835-2842
DNA, databases, electrophoresis, gender, hairs, melanin, oxidation, polymerase chain reaction, root hairs
Today the STR typing of telogen hair and hair shafts is regarded as a challenge. The small DNA quantity in the hair is highly degraded. Another problem are PCR inhibitors in the hair. In particular hair pigments, the melanins, are known to inhibit PCR. Hairs are exposed to sunlight and partly to chemical oxidation processes, which make them even more difficult to analyze. To increase the chances of a correct typing of hair, the small amount of DNA must be successfully isolated and the inhibitors have to be removed or neutralized. Furthermore, miniSTR typing improves the analysis of stains with degraded DNA like it is the case with hair. We introduce a nonorganic extraction method and in addition a miniSTR concept which is promising in typing stains with little and degraded DNA, especially hairs. The miniSTR concept including five database STRs (SE33, VWA, TH01, FGA, D3S1358) and the gender typing system Amelogenin was optimized for the amplification of hair DNA. Compared to commercial STR kits, this approach resulted in considerably higher success rates.