Evaluation of openarray™ as a genotyping method for forensic DNA phenotyping and human identification

Michele Ragazzo, Giulio Puleri, Valeria Errichiello, Laura Manzo, Laura Luzzi, Saverio Potenza, Claudia Strafella, Cristina Peconi, Fabio Nicastro, Valerio Caputo, Emiliano Giardina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A custom plate of OpenArray™ technology was evaluated to test 60 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) validated for the prediction of eye color, hair color, and skin pigmentation, and for personal identification. The SNPs were selected from already validated subsets (Hirisplex-s, Precision ID Identity SNP Panel, and ForenSeq DNA Signature Prep Kit). The concordance rate and call rate for every SNP were calculated by analyzing 314 sequenced DNA samples. The sensitivity of the assay was assessed by preparing a dilution series of 10.0, 5.0, 1.0, and 0.5 ng. The OpenArray™ platform obtained an average call rate of 96.9% and a concordance rate near 99.8%. Sensitivity testing performed on serial dilutions demonstrated that a sample with 0.5 ng of total input DNA can be correctly typed. The profiles of the 19 SNPs selected for human identification reached a random match probability (RMP) of, on average, 10−8 . An analysis of 21 examples of biological evidence from 8 individuals, that generated single short tandem repeat profiles during the routine workflow, demonstrated the applicability of this technology in real cases. Seventeen samples were correctly typed, revealing a call rate higher than 90%. Accordingly, the phenotype prediction revealed the same accuracy described in the corresponding validation data. Despite the reduced discrimination power of this system compared to STR based kits, the OpenArray™ System can be used to exclude suspects and prioritize samples for downstream analyses, providing well-established information about the prediction of eye color, hair color, and skin pigmentation. More studies will be needed for further validation of this technology and to consider the opportunity to implement this custom array with more SNPs to obtain a lower RMP and to include markers for studies of ancestry and lineage.

Original languageEnglish
Article number221
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Forensic DNA phenotyping
  • Forensic DNA typing
  • OpenArray™ system
  • TaqMan SNP genotyping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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