Natural Resources, School of


Internal Validation of MaSTR™ Probabilistic Genotyping Software for the Interpretation of 2–5 Person Mixed DNA Profiles

Michael Adamowicz, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Taylor N. Rambo, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Jennifer Clarke, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Document Type Article

open access


Mixed human deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) samples present one of the most challenging pieces of evidence that a forensic analyst can encounter. When multiple contributors, stochastic amplification, and allele drop-out further complicate the mixture profile, interpretation by hand becomes unreliable and statistical analysis problematic. Probabilistic genotyping software has provided a tool to address complex mixture interpretation and provide likelihood ratios for defined sets of propositions. The MaSTR™ software is a fully continuous probabilistic system that considers a wide range of STR profile data to provide likelihood ratios on DNA mixtures. Mixtures with two to five contributors and a range of component ratios and allele peak heights were created to test the validity of MaSTR™ with data similar to real casework. Over 280 different mixed DNA profiles were used to perform more than 2600 analyses using different sets of propositions and numbers of contributors. The results of the analyses demonstrated that MaSTR™ provided accurate and precise statistical data on DNA mixtures with up to five contributors, including minor contributors with stochastic amplification effects. Tests for both Type I and Type II errors were performed. The findings in this study support that MaSTR™ is a robust tool that meets the current standards for probabilistic genotyping.