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Low-template DNA: A single DNA analysis or two replicates?



Simone N. Gittelson, Carolyn R. Steffen, Michael D. Coble


This study investigates the following two questions: (i) Should the DNA analyst concentrate the DNA extract into a single amplification or should he/she split it up to do two replicates? (ii) Given the electropherogram obtained from a first analysis, is it worthwhile for the DNA analyst to invest in obtaining a second replicate? A decision-theoretic approach addresses these questions by quantitatively expressing the expected net gain (ENG) of each DNA analysis of interest. The results indicate that two replicates generally have a greater ENG than a single DNA analysis for DNA quantities capable of producing two replicates having an average allelic peak height as low as 43 rfu. This supports the position that two replicates increase the information content with regard to a single analysis.
Forensic Science International


LT-DNA, Replication, Value of information, Decision theory.


Gittelson, S. , Steffen, C. and Coble, M. (2016), Low-template DNA: A single DNA analysis or two replicates?, Forensic Science International, [online],, (Accessed April 25, 2024)
Created April 17, 2016, Updated November 10, 2018