PowerQuant® System

Zero Means Zero with PowerQuant - Confidence Comes from Clear Vision

Accurate and sensitive DNA quantification plays a key role in ensuring successful STR results, and because many samples are precious, getting it right the first time is crucial. The more information you have about the sample, the better your chance for successful STR analysis.

  • Trust your zero quantification results—zero means zero
  • Obtain reliable quantification results with more consistent auto/Y ratios
  • Maximize your success in STR assays with straightforward DNA quality assessment
  • Shorten time to results with a faster cycling time of approximately 1 hour

The PowerQuant® System is a 5-color, 4-target, probe-based qPCR assay that simultaneously quantifies the total amount of amplifiable autosomal and Y-chromosomal DNA in a single assay using the same DNA standards.

The PowerQuant® System eliminates guesswork about your DNA sample so that you can make the best decision about what steps to take next. It helps answer questions such as:

  • Is this a single-source or mixture sample?
  • What amount of DNA should I use in my STR assay?
  • Is there sufficient human DNA to proceed with STR analysis?
  • Should I perform Y-STR or autosomal STR analysis?
  • Is the sample degraded?
  • Is the sample inhibited? Should I re-purify?

The PowerQuant® System consistently quantifies as little as 6pg of autosomal or Y-chromosomal DNA and detects <1pg/µl of DNA. If you can't detect DNA with PowerQuant® System, you won't detect it with your STR system. Zero means zero. No need to waste valuable time or STR reagents. Trust your precious DNA samples to the PowerQuant® System, and be confident in your DNA quantitation results.

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Zero means zero. A DNA sample that had no Cq value for the autosomal, Y and degradation targets was amplified using the PowerPlex® ESI 17 System. Even when the maximum volume of DNA sample (17.5µl) was added to the STR amplification, no STR profile was generated.
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Zero means zero. A DNA sample that had no Cq value for the autosomal, Y and degradation targets was amplified using the PowerPlex® ESI 17 System. Even when the maximum volume of DNA sample (17.5µl) was added to the STR amplification, no STR profile was generated.

Use DNA Quantification Results to Reliably Predict STR Results

The PowerQuant® System can detect DNA at concentrations below which an informative profile can be obtained, even when the maximum sample volume is used in an STR amplification reaction.

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Panel A. A DNA sample was serially diluted to low template concentrations and quantified in quadruplicate using the PowerQuant™ System. Data in the PowerQuant™ System table indicate the number of replicates in which the amplification curve crossed the amplification threshold within 39 cycles divided by the total number of replicates tested. Auto = autosomal target, Y = male target, D = degradation target. These samples also were amplified in quadruplicate using the PowerPlex® Fusion System by adding the maximum input volume (15μl) per 25μl amplification reaction [except for the 100ng/µl reaction, which contained 5µl (500ng)]. Data in the PowerPlex® Fusion System table show the average number of alleles detected in the STR reaction when analyzed on an Applied Biosystems® 3130 Genetic Analyzer using a 50RFU threshold. Panel B. Representative PowerPlex® Fusion data obtained with 500pg, 150pg, 15pg and 1.5pg of DNA template. At 1.5pg a few subthreshold peaks were observed.
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Panel A. A DNA sample was serially diluted to low template concentrations and quantified in quadruplicate using the PowerQuant™ System. Data in the PowerQuant™ System table indicate the number of replicates in which the amplification curve crossed the amplification threshold within 39 cycles divided by the total number of replicates tested. Auto = autosomal target, Y = male target, D = degradation target. These samples also were amplified in quadruplicate using the PowerPlex® Fusion System by adding the maximum input volume (15μl) per 25μl amplification reaction [except for the 100ng/µl reaction, which contained 5µl (500ng)]. Data in the PowerPlex® Fusion System table show the average number of alleles detected in the STR reaction when analyzed on an Applied Biosystems® 3130 Genetic Analyzer using a 50RFU threshold. Panel B. Representative PowerPlex® Fusion data obtained with 500pg, 150pg, 15pg and 1.5pg of DNA template. At 1.5pg a few subthreshold peaks were observed.

Casework samples often contain DNA mixtures from multiple persons. The Y-chromosomal target in the PowerQuant® System enables quantification of human male DNA in the sample, helping you evaluate mixtures of male and female DNA.

The PowerQuant® System also allows you to make better decisions when faced with a partial or failed STR amplification by differentiating between PCR inhibition and DNA degradation.

Reliably Detect PCR Inhibitors

Reliable detection of inhibitors that can affect DNA quantification and downstream STR assays is a key feature of the PowerQuant® System. The internal PCR control (IPC) has roughly the same level of sensitivity to inhibitors as currently available downstream STR assays, allowing you to determine if a sample is appropriate for amplification or if additional processing is required.

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IPC Cq shift predicts downstream STR inhibition. Two microliters of 2800M Control DNA with 0, 200ng/μl , 400ng/μl and 600ng/μl humic acid were amplified using the PowerQuant™ System to determine the IPC Cq shift and [Auto]/[D] ratio. Fifteen microliters of each sample was amplified using the PowerPlex® Fusion System, and amplified products were detected using the Applied Biosystems® 3130xl Genetic Analyzer. Data were analyzed using GeneMapper® ID-X software. In contrast to the sample with the lower humic acid concentration, the IPC Cq shifts for the samples with higher humic acid concentration (400ng/μl and 600ng/µl) indicate the presence of an inhibitor and concomitantly show a significant reduction in STR peak heights in the PowerPlex® Fusion System electropherograms. In this example, the [Auto]/[D] ratios are not affected at these humic acid concentrations. This illustrates that the IPC is more sensitive to inhibitors than the degradation target, enabling distinction between sample inhibition and degradation.
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IPC Cq shift predicts downstream STR inhibition. Two microliters of 2800M Control DNA with 0, 200ng/μl , 400ng/μl and 600ng/μl humic acid were amplified using the PowerQuant™ System to determine the IPC Cq shift and [Auto]/[D] ratio. Fifteen microliters of each sample was amplified using the PowerPlex® Fusion System, and amplified products were detected using the Applied Biosystems® 3130xl Genetic Analyzer. Data were analyzed using GeneMapper® ID-X software. In contrast to the sample with the lower humic acid concentration, the IPC Cq shifts for the samples with higher humic acid concentration (400ng/μl and 600ng/µl) indicate the presence of an inhibitor and concomitantly show a significant reduction in STR peak heights in the PowerPlex® Fusion System electropherograms. In this example, the [Auto]/[D] ratios are not affected at these humic acid concentrations. This illustrates that the IPC is more sensitive to inhibitors than the degradation target, enabling distinction between sample inhibition and degradation.

Assess DNA Integrity of Your DNA Sample

The system amplifies short amplicons that are similar in size to mini-STRs and a long autosomal target. After amplification, the PowerQuant® Analysis tool calculates the ratio of DNA concentrations for the shorter and longer amplicons. The resulting degradation ratio helps you determine if a DNA sample is degraded, rather than inhibited, and decide which, if any, STR system is most appropriate for downstream analysis.

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2800M Control DNA (10ng/μl) was exposed to the indicated levels of UV-C energy to induce DNA degradation and then quantified using the PowerQuant™ System. The DNA was amplified using the PowerPlex® Fusion System. DNA samples with elevated [Auto]/[D] ratios yielded partial STR profiles. This illustrates that the [Auto]/[D] ratio is more sensitive to sample integrity than the IPC, enabling you to distinguish between sample degradation and inhibition.
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2800M Control DNA (10ng/μl) was exposed to the indicated levels of UV-C energy to induce DNA degradation and then quantified using the PowerQuant™ System. The DNA was amplified using the PowerPlex® Fusion System. DNA samples with elevated [Auto]/[D] ratios yielded partial STR profiles. This illustrates that the [Auto]/[D] ratio is more sensitive to sample integrity than the IPC, enabling you to distinguish between sample degradation and inhibition.