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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Human Nail Clippings as a Source of DNA for Genetic Studies.

  • Author(s): Truong, Le
  • Park, Hannah Lui
  • Chang, Seong Sil
  • Ziogas, Argyrios
  • Neuhausen, Susan L
  • Wang, Sophia S
  • Bernstein, Leslie
  • Anton-Culver, Hoda
  • et al.

Blood samples have traditionally been used as the main source of DNA for genetic analysis. However, this source can be difficult in terms of collection, transportation, and long-term storage. In this study, we investigated whether human nail clippings could be used as a source of DNA for SNP genotyping, null-allele detection, and whole-genome amplification. From extracted nail DNA, we achieved amplicons up to a length of ~400 bp and >96% concordance for SNP genotyping and 100% concordance for null-allele detection compared to DNA derived from matched blood samples. For whole-genome amplification, OmniPlex performed better than Multiple Displacement Amplification with a success rate of 89.3% and 76.8% for SNP genotyping and null-allele detection, respectively. Concordance was ~98% for both methods. When combined with OmniPlex whole-genome amplification, human nail clippings could potentially be used as an alternative to whole blood as a less invasive and more convenient source of DNA for genotyping studies.

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