File: al2bp.Rd

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\name{al2bp}
\alias{al2bp}
\title{To Convert a forensic microsatellite allele name into its length in base pairs}
\description{
Conventions used to name forensic microsatellite alleles (STR) are described
in Bar \emph{et al.} (1994). The name "9.3" means for instance that there are
9 repetitions of the complete base oligomer and an incomplete repeat with 3 bp.
}
\usage{
al2bp(allele.name, repeat.bp = 4, offLadderChars = "><", split = "\\\\.")
}
\arguments{
  \item{allele.name}{The name of the allele, coerced to a string type.}
  \item{repeat.bp}{The length in bp of the microsatellite base repeat, most of them
are tetranucleotides so that it defaults to 4. Do not forget to change this to 5
for loci based on pentanucleotides such as Penta D or Penta E.}	
  \item{offLadderChars}{\code{\link{NA}} is returned when at least one of 
  these characters are found in the allele name. Off ladder alleles are typically
  reported as "<8" or ">19" }
  \item{split}{The convention is to use a dot, as in "9.3", between the number of repeats
and the number of bases in the incomplete repeat. On some locales where the
decimal separator is a comma this could be a source of problem, try to use
"," instead for this argument which is forwarded to \code{\link{strsplit}}.}
}
\value{
A single numeric value corresponding to the size in bp of the allele, or NA
when characters spoting off ladder alleles are encountedred or when numeric
conversion is impossible (\emph{e.g.} with "X" or "Y" allele names at Amelogenin locus).
}
\details{
Warnings generated by faulty numeric conversions are suppressed here.
}
\references{ 
Bar, W. and Brinkmann, B. and Lincoln, P. and Mayr, W.R. and Rossi, U. (1994)
DNA recommendations. 1994 report concerning further recommendations 
of the DNA Commission of the ISFH regarding PCR-based polymorphisms 
in STR (short tandem repeat) systems.
\emph{Int. J. Leg. Med.}, \bold{107}:159-160.

\code{citation("seqinR")}
}
\author{J.R. Lobry}
\seealso{\code{\link{identifiler}} for forensic microsatellite allele name examples.}
\examples{
#
#   Quality check and examples:
#
stopifnot( al2bp("9") == 36 )   # 9 repeats of a tetranucleotide is 36 bp
stopifnot( al2bp(9) == 36 )      # also OK with numerical argument
stopifnot( al2bp(9, 5) == 45 )  # 9 repeats of a pentanucleotide is 45 bp
stopifnot( al2bp("9.3") == 39 ) # microvariant case
stopifnot( is.na(al2bp("<8")) )   # off ladder case 
stopifnot( is.na(al2bp(">19")) ) # off ladder case
stopifnot( is.na(al2bp("X")) )     # non STR case
#
# Application to the alleles names in the identifiler data set where all loci are 
# tetranucleotide repeats:
#
data(identifiler)
al.names <- unlist(identifiler)
al.length <- sapply(al.names, al2bp)
loc.names <- unlist(lapply(identifiler, names))
loc.nall  <-unlist(lapply(identifiler, function(x) lapply(x,length)))
loc.fac <- factor(rep(loc.names, loc.nall))
par(lend = "butt", mar = c(5,6,4,1)+0.1)
boxplot(al.length~loc.fac, las = 1, col = "lightblue",
  horizontal = TRUE, main = "Range of allele lengths at forensic loci",
  xlab = "Length (bp)", ylim = c(0, max(al.length, na.rm = TRUE)))
}