Evaluation of the Ion Torrent™ HID SNP 169-plex: A SNP typing assay developed for human identification by second generation sequencing

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The Ion Torrent™ HID SNP assay amplified 136 autosomal SNPs and 33 Y-chromosome markers in one PCR and the markers were subsequently typed using the Ion PGM™ second generation sequencing platform. A total of 51 of the autosomal SNPs were selected from the SNPforID panel that is routinely used in our ISO 17025 accredited laboratory. Concordance between the Ion Torrent™ HID SNP assay and the SNPforID assay was tested by typing 44 Iraqis twice with the Ion Torrent™ HID SNP assay. The same samples were previously typed with the SNPforID assay and the Y-chromosome haplogroups of the individuals were previously identified by typing 45 Y-chromosome SNPs. Full concordance between the assays were obtained except for the SNP genotypes of two SNPs. These SNPs were among the eight SNPs (rs2399332, rs1029047, rs10776839, rs4530059, rs8037429, rs430046, rs1031825 and rs1523537) with inconsistent allele balance among samples. These SNPs should be excluded from the panel. The optimal amount of DNA in the PCR seemed to be ≥0.5ng. Allele drop-outs were rare and only seen in experiments with <0.5ng input DNA and with a coverage of <50reads. No allele drop-in was observed. The great majority of the heterozygote allele balances were between 0.6 and 1.6, which is comparable to the heterozygote balances of STRs typed with PCR-CE. The number of reads with base calls that differed from the genotype call was typically less than five. This allowed detection of 1:100 mixtures with a high degree of certainty in experiments with a high total depth of coverage. In conclusion, the Ion PGM™ is a very promising platform for forensic genetics. However, the secondary sequence analysis software made wrong genotype calls from correctly sequenced alleles. These types of errors must be corrected before the platform can be used in case work. Furthermore, the sequence analysis software should be further developed and include quality settings for each SNP based on validation studies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalForensic science international. Genetics
Pages (from-to)144-154
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014

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