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Developmental Validation of the HIrisPlex system: DNA-Based Eye and Hair Colour Prediction for Forensic and Anthropological Usage

NCJ Number
Forensic Science International: Genetics Volume: 9 Dated: March 2014 Pages: 150-161
Susan Walsh; Lakshmi Chaitanya; Lindy Clarisse; Laura Wirken; Jolanta Draus-Barini; Leda Kovatsi; Hitoshi Maeda; Takaki Ishikawa; Titia Sijen; Peter de Knijff; Wojciech Branicki; Fan Liu; Manfred Kayser
Date Published
March 2014
12 pages
This study performed the developmental validation of the HIrisPlex system in predicting DNA-based eye and hair color.
By demonstrating that the HIrisPlex assay is fully compatible with the guidelines of the Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods (SWGDAM), this testing provides the first forensically validated test system for parallel eye and hair color prediction. The HIrisPlex is now available to forensic laboratories for immediate casework application. Given the robustness and sensitivity found in current and previous work, the HIrisPlex system is also suitable for analyzing old and ancient DNA in anthropological and evolutionary studies. The HIrisPlex system is especially useful in determining the hair and eye color of unknown suspects from crime-scene DNA samples for which there is no match in a DNA database search. The HIrisPlex assay produces complete profiles down to only 63 pg of DNA. Rigorous testing of simulated forensic casework samples - such as blood, semen, saliva stains, hairs with roots, and extremely low quantity touch DNA samples - produced complete profiles in 88 percent of cases. Concordance testing performed among five independent forensic laboratories showed consistent, reproducible results on varying types of DNA samples. Results were significant even for artificially degraded DNA samples. An online Web-based system for individual eye and hair color prediction from full and partial HIrisPlex DNA profiles is available. A detailed description of materials and methods addresses the features of human samples; the multiplex protocol; sensitivity, peak height balance, and consistency; mixture studies; species specificity; reproducibility; case-type samples and stability studies; prediction tool and guide; and population studies. 2 tables, 3 figures, and 41 references