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An Inter-laboratory Comparison of Probabilistic Genotyping Parameters and Evaluation of Performance on DNA Mixtures from Different Laboratories

NCJ Number
Forensic Science International: Genetics Volume: 71 Dated: July 2024 Pages: 103046
Date Published
July 2024

This article describes an inter-laboratory study of 155 mixtures and probabilistic genotyping parameters from eight laboratories to address concerns about reliability, evaluating different short tandem repeat kits, analytical threshold values, polymerase chain reaction cycles, and stutter values.


Probabilistic genotyping (PG) is becoming the preferred standard for evidence interpretation, amongst forensic DNA laboratories, especially those in the United States. Various groups have expressed concern about reliability of PG systems, especially for mixtures beyond two contributors. Studies involving interlaboratory testing of known mixtures have been identified as ways to evaluate the reliability of PG systems. Reliability means different things in different contexts. However, it suffices here to think about it as a mixture of precision and accuracy. One might also consider whether a system is prone to producing misleading results – for example large likelihood ratios (LRs) when the POI is truly not a contributor, or small LRs when the POI is a truly a contributor. In this paper, the authors show that the PG system STRmix™ is relatively unaffected by differences in parameter settings. That is, a DNA mixture that is analyzed in different laboratories using STRmix™ will result in different LRs, but less than 0.05% of these LRs would result in a different, or misleading conclusion as long as the LR is greater than 50. For the purposes of this study, the authors define LRs assigned using different parameters for the same mixtures as similar if the LR of the true POI is greater than the LRs generated for 99.9% of the general population. These findings are based on an interlaboratory study involving eight laboratories that provided twenty known DNA mixtures of two to four contributors and their individual laboratory STRmix™ parameters. The eight sets of laboratory parameters included differences in STR kits and PCR cycles as well as the peak, stutter, and locus specific amplification efficiency variances. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: July 1, 2024