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Developmental Validation of the PowerPlex® Y23 System: A Single Multiplex Y-STR...

Developmental Validation of the PowerPlex® Y23 System: A Single Multiplex Y-STR Analysis System for Casework and Database Samples

Jonelle Thompson is a research scientist in the Genetic Identity R&D group at Promega. As an R&D scientist, Jonelle has worked with teams responsible for the developmental validations of PowerPlex® 16HS, PowerPlex® ESX and ESI kits, and most recently the development and launch of the PowerPlex® Y23 System. Prior to joining R&D, she trained forensic scientists at laboratories across the county on Promega products as a member of Promega's technical services team.

Prior to her employment at Promega, Jonelle was an associate laboratory director of validation services and a forensic DNA analyst at Sorenson Forensics. Jonelle's validation experience is extensive. Through her work at Sorenson, she had the opportunity to work with and validate most of the commercially available STR kits either at Sorenson or with customers.

  • Jonelle Thompson

  • Original Webinar Date: Thursday, September 13, 2012


Y-SYR testing is an established tool in the forensic casework, paternity testing and genealogy fields. The PowerPlex® Y23 System combines the seventeen Y-STR loci in current commercially available Y-STR kits (DYS19, DYS385a/b, DYS389I/II, DYS390, DYS391, DYS392, DYS393, DYS437, DYS438, DYS439, DYS448, DYS456, DYS458, DYS635, and Y-GATA-H4) with six new highly discriminating Y-STR loci (DYS481, DYS533, DYS549, DYS570, DYS576, and DYS643). Increased discrimination potential with the additional loci improves scientists' ability to distinguish individuals from different paternal lines from one another, enabling more meaningful analyses.

This Y-STR system is an excellent tool for testing in sexual assault cases in which sperm was not detected from intimate swabs collected from female victims. The PowerPlex® Y23 system also supports direct amplification from a variety of substrates, including blood and buccal samples on FTA® paper (GE Healthcare/Whatman) and other commonly used paper substrates. This system produces reliable Y-STR profiles from swabs when processed with Promega's SwabSolution™ Kit. Additionally, Y-STR amplification with this system provides significant time savings due to a reduced cycling time of 90 minutes--less than half the time required for other available Y-STR kits.

Additional results of developmental validation studies following SWGDAM guidelines show that the PowerPlex® Y23 system is a robust multiplex that is highly tolerant of many amplification inhibitors, including hematin, humic acid, and tannic acid. The system has proven sensitivity and specificity, detecting minimal amounts of male DNA in the presence of excessive amounts of female DNA. Complete Y-STR profiles are detected with 62pg of male DNA in the presence of 400ng female DNA (6450-fold excess) as well as 125pg of male DNA in the presence of 3000ng female DNA (24000-fold excess). By offering superior inhibitor tolerance, proven sensitivity, and protocols for both casework and databasing, the PowerPlex® Y23 System sets a new standard for Y-STR analysis.

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