Massively Parallel (Next Generation) Sequencing (MPS) technologies have recently been proven useful and successful in typing various markers relevant in forensic genetics, such as STRs, SNPs and mitochondrial genomes. Early studies investigated self-developed DNA libraries, commercially supplied kits are currently being made available to allow a smoother and gradual implementation of such technologies in forensic laboratories. The ForenSeq DNA Signature Prep Kit (Illumina, CA) is the first commercially available STR kit that can be used on the MiSeq FGx (Illumina, CA) benchtop high-throughput sequencer. This kit allows the simultaneous typing of 59 STRs and up to 172 SNPs in a single reaction and presents a short library preparation protocol adapted to contemporary forensic requirements. In this study, we evaluated the beta version of the ForenSeq DNA Signature Prep Kit MiSeq FGx system by investigating reproducibility, sensitivity, mixtures, concordance, casework-type and aDNA samples and found it to perform successfully, proving to be a robust method for future forensic applications. MPS brings the possibility of complex multiplexing, high sensitivity and sequencing resolution to forensics; however, the need for consensual directions on databasing, data storage and nomenclature must be taken into consideration.
Forensic Sci Int Genet 2017 28:188-194