Power to address challenging missing persons cases

Missing Person Identification

Missing persons cases present a significant challenge to law enforcement and to forensic science due to high numbers of open cases, and DNA samples being old, exposed to harsh conditions, and often containing degraded DNA.

Older technology utilizing capillary electrophoresis require the starting DNA to be in fairly good condition, due to the size of the short tandem repeat (STR) amplicons being interrogated. In other cases there is insufficient starting DNA to obtain a usable STR result, and specialized testing using mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) may be the only option.

The widespread application of next-generation sequencing (NGS) in numerous areas of molecular biology research and applied sciences now allows forensic scientists worldwide to harness the full power of targeted NGS to address challenging missing persons cases.

mtDNA Analysis to Identify Missing Persons

Illumina sequencing by synthesis (SBS) technology offers a massively parallel approach for sequencing forensic PCR amplicons, both nuclear and mitochondrial. NGS enables scientists to utilize a single platform and optimal workflow to overcome the widest range of difficult samples often encountered in missing persons cases.

Our forensic genomics solution includes a dense set of identity SNPs, phenotypic SNPs, and biogeographic ancestry SNPs to assist in facial reconstruction and to eliminate candidate identifications.

Deep Sequencing of mtDNA

The MiSeq System aids in identification of skeletal remains by sequencing mtDNA hypervariable regions.

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Illumina offers a complete, fully validated DNA-to-data solution designed for forensic genomics. Our recommended workflow on the MiSeq FGx System can quickly deliver results, potentially speeding up investigations.

Achieve high resolution and exceptional accuracy from as little as 1 ng of DNA. With targeted sequencing of nuclear or mtDNA, you can develop more thorough, detailed profiles, even from degraded, mixed, and limited samples.

Click on the below to view products for each workflow step.

DNA Extraction and Quantification:
We recommend using your current DNA extraction and quantitation methods.


Library Preparation:
ForenSeq DNA Signature Prep Kit (for nuclear DNA)

Assay approximately 200 genetic markers in a single test. Includes all reagents to prepare sequencing libraries from forensic DNA samples.

Nextera XT DNA Library Prep Kit (for mtDNA)

Prepare sequencing-ready libraries for small genomes like mitochondrial DNA in less than 90 minutes.

MiSeq FGx Instrument

First fully validated sequencing system for forensic genomics.

MiSeq FGx Reagent Kit

Pre-filled, ready-to-use reagent cartridges, specifically designed for the MiSeq FGx System. Use for sequencing nuclear DNA libraries.

MiSeq Reagent Kit v2

Pre-filled, ready-to-use reagent cartridges, for running the MiSeq FGx System in RUO mode. Use for sequencing mtDNA libraries.

ForenSeq Universal Analysis Software

Analyze and interpret a wide range of forensics casework and database samples.

mtDNA Variant Processor BaseSpace App

Enables streamlined variant analysis of d-loop and whole mitochondrial DNA sequence data.

mtDNA Variant Analyzer BaseSpace App

Enables simplified visualization of d-loop and whole mitochondrial DNA sequence data.

SNP & STR Analysis with NGS
Simplified SNP and STR Analysis

NGS enables genetic analysis for large numbers of globally relevant STR markers and dense SNP sets in a single test. Learn More »

Forensic mtDNA Sequencing
mtDNA Sequencing for Forensics

NGS provides deep coverage of mtDNA to extract genetic data from small forensic samples found in less than ideal condition. Learn More »

mtDNA Sequencing to ID Skeletal Remains
mtDNA Sequencing to ID Skeletal Remains

Dr. Mitch Holland of Penn State explains how high-throughput sequencing is helping us realize the power of mtDNA heteroplasmy in forensic research.

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mtDNA Poster
mtDNA Poster

Improved human mtDNA analysis using next-generation sequencing and cloud-based computing and storage.

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