HRM and SNaPshot as alternative forensic SNP genotyping methods

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Abstract

Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been widely used in forensics for prediction of identity, biogeographical ancestry (BGA) and externally visible characteristics (EVCs). Single base extension (SBE) assays, most notably SNaPshot® (Thermo Fisher Scientific), are commonly used for forensic SNP genotyping as they can be employed on standard instrumentation in forensic laboratories (e.g. capillary electrophoresis). High resolution melt (HRM) analysis is an alternative method and is a simple, fast, single tube assay for low throughput SNP typing. This study compares HRM and SNaPshot®. HRM produced reproducible and concordant genotypes at 500 pg, however, difficulties were encountered when genotyping SNPs with high GC content in flanking regions and differentiating variants of symmetrical SNPs. SNaPshot® was reproducible at 100 pg and is less dependent on SNP choice. HRM has a shorter processing time in comparison to SNaPshot®, avoids post PCR contamination risk and has potential as a screening tool for many forensic applications.

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Mehta, B., Daniel, R., & McNevin, D. (2017). HRM and SNaPshot as alternative forensic SNP genotyping methods. Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology, 13(3), 293–301. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12024-017-9874-5

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