Reverse Complement PCR: A novel one-step PCR system for typing highly degraded DNA for human identification

Rachel E. Kieser, Magdalena M. Buś, Jonathan L. King, Walter van der Vliet, Joop Theelen, Bruce Budowle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Reverse Complement PCR (RC-PCR) is an innovative, one-step PCR target enrichment technology adapted for the amplification of highly degraded (fragmented) DNA. It provides simultaneous amplification and tagging of a targeted sequence construct in a single, closed-tube assay. A human identification (HID) RC-PCR panel was designed targeting 27 identity single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) generating targets only 50 base pairs in length. In a single reaction, the complete sequencing construct is produced which is essential for massively parallel sequencing (MPS) library preparation, thus reducing time and labor as well as minimizing the risk of sample carry-over or other forms of contamination. The RC-PCR system was evaluated and found to produce reliable and concordant variant calls. Also, the RC-PCR system demonstrated to have substantial sensitivity of detection with a majority of alleles detected at 60 pg of input DNA and robustness in tolerating known PCR inhibitors. The RC-PCR system may be an effective alternative to current forensic genetic methods in the analysis of highly degraded DNA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102201
JournalForensic Science International: Genetics
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • Degraded DNA
  • Identity SNPs
  • RC-PCR
  • Reverse Complement PCR
  • SNPs


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