DOI: 10.1002/elps.202300285 ISSN: 0173-0835

Effects and considerations of multiplexing ForenSeq Kintelligence libraries with a negative control

Gunmeet Kaur Bali, Daniela Cuenca, Jeanette Wallin
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry


The negative template control or negative amplification control has been an essential component of the forensic DNA analysis workflow that helps monitor contamination. As such, the inclusion of a negative control in forensic DNA analysis has been a requirement for all laboratories audited under the FBI's Quality Assurance Standards. As massively parallel sequencing (MPS) becomes more conventional in forensic laboratories, considerations for the inclusion of a negative control in every sequencing run can be evaluated. Although the inclusion of a negative control in library preparation and the first sequencing run has a practical function, there is less utility for its inclusion in all subsequent sequencing runs for that library preparation. Although this is universal to all MPS assays, it is most relevant for an assay that has a low sample multiplexing capacity, such as the ForenSeq Kintelligence Kit (Qiagen/Verogen, Inc.). The ForenSeq Kintelligence Kit is an investigative genetic genealogy (IGG) sequencing‐based assay that targets 10,230 forensically relevant single‐nucleotide polymorphisms. The manufacturer recommends multiplexing 3 libraries per sequencing run, which includes controls. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of the inclusion of a negative control in every Kintelligence sequencing run. We observed that the library generated from a negative amplification control will take 7%–14% of the run output. The loss of sequencing space taken by a negative control decreased the available output for DNA‐containing samples, leading in some cases to allele or locus dropout and accompanying higher numbers of sixth to seventh order unknown associations in GEDmatch PRO.

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