Evaluation of the Illumina(®) Beta Version ForenSeq™ DNA Signature Prep Kit for use in genetic profiling.
In the absence of any other conclusive forensic evidence, DNA profiling is the method of choice for body identification. This study focuses on the case of a carbonized corpse whose complete autosomal short tandem repeat (STR) profile could not lead to direct identification by the investigators. To assist in the progress of investigation, we endeavoured to determine the biogeographical origin and eye colour of the deceased individual. Along with Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA analyses, we applied a next-generation sequencing (NGS) approach to the study of ancestry informative markers (AIMs) using the HID-Ion AmpliSeq™ Ancestry Panel launched by Thermo Fisher Scientific. This work gave us the opportunity to test this new technology in a real forensic case. Although this study highlights the benefits of such a combined approach, as it markedly improves the specificity of the biogeographical profile, it also underlines the need for the accurate characterization of a larger collection of reference populations and the necessity of caution in data interpretation.