Recent studies have demonstrated the capability of second generation sequencing (SGS) to provide coverage of short tandem repeats (STRs) found within the human genome. However, there are relatively few bioinformatic software packages capable of detecting these markers in the raw sequence data. The extant STR-calling tools are sophisticated, but are not always applicable to the analysis of the STR loci commonly used in forensic analyses. STRait Razor is a newly developed Perl-based software tool that runs on the Linux/Unix operating system and is designed to detect forensically-relevant STR alleles in FASTQ sequence data, based on allelic length. It is capable of analyzing STR loci with repeat motifs ranging from simple to complex without the need for extensive allelic sequence data. STRait Razor is designed to interpret both single-end and paired-end data and relies on intelligent parallel processing to reduce analysis time. Users are presented with a number of customization options, including variable mismatch detection parameters, as well as the ability to easily allow for the detection of alleles at new loci. In its current state, the software detects alleles for 44 autosomal and Y-chromosome STR loci. The study described herein demonstrates that STRait Razor is capable of detecting STR alleles in data generated by multiple library preparation methods and two Illumina® sequencing instruments, with 100% concordance. The data also reveal noteworthy concepts related to the effect of different preparation chemistries and sequencing parameters on the bioinformatic detection of STR alleles.
- Second generation sequencing