Automated classification and cluster visualization of genotypes derived from high resolution melt curves

Sami Kanderian, Lingxia Jiang, Ivor Knight

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


High Resolution Melting (HRM) following PCR has been used to identify DNA genotypes. Fluorescent dyes bounded to double strand DNA lose their fluorescence with increasing temperature, yielding different signatures for different genotypes. Recent software tools have been made available to aid in the distinction of different genotypes, but they are not fully automated, used only for research purposes, or require some level of interaction or confirmation from an analyst. Materials and Methods We describe a fully automated machine learning software algorithm that classifies unknown genotypes. Dynamic melt curves are transformed to multidimensional clusters of points whereby a training set is used to establish the distribution of genotype clusters. Subsequently, probabilistic and statistical methods were used to classify the genotypes of unknown DNA samples on 4 different assays (40 VKORC1, CYP2C9∗2, CYP2C9∗3 samples in triplicate, and 49 MTHFR c.665CT samples in triplicate) run on the Roche LC480. Melt curves of each of the triplicates were genotyped separately. Results Automated genotyping called 100% of VKORC1, CYP2C9∗3 and MTHFR c.665CT samples correctly. 97.5% of CYP2C9∗2 melt curves were genotyped correctly with the remaining 2.5% given a no call due to the inability to decipher 3 melt curves in close proximity as either homozygous mutant or wild-type with greater than 99.5% posterior probability. Conclusions We demonstrate the ability to fully automate DNA genotyping from HRM curves systematically and accurately without requiring any user interpretation or interaction with the data. Visualization of genotype clusters and quantification of the expected misclassification rate is also available to provide feedback to assay scientists and engineers as changes are made to the assay or instrument.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0143295
JournalPloS one
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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