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Evaluation and Implementation of High Throughput Second Generation Sequencing for Mitochondrial DNA Testing in Missing Persons and Forensic Casework at the UNT Center for Human Identification

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2023
2019 pages

This document provides a summary of findings for a research project aimed at enabling the transition of whole mitochondrial genome sequencing from a research environment to that of forensic laboratories responsible for casework.


The author provides a brief summary of research which demonstrates how massively parallel sequencing (MPS) can significantly increase the value of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequencing for identification of unidentified human remains and analysis of hairs in traditional forensic casework. The research project had seven primary goals: to formally train Technical Leaders and Analysts, and to document the training process; to perform internal validation of the analytical process; to develop a working standard operating procedure (SOP); to develop accompanying tools, worksheets, data output reports for the mitochondrial genome (mtGenome) sequencing process; to institute appropriate Quality Assurance practices; to perform concordance testing with MPS and Sanger Sequencing methods; and, finally, to implement mtGenome sequencing. The author reports success in all activity areas and provides a detailed description of accomplishments, workflows, and research results. The project summary document also includes a listing of sources cited, products produced such as presentations and publications, and a discussion of the research project’s impact in the criminal justice system as well as contributions to crime laboratories and technology transfer.

Date Published: June 1, 2023