Eliminate trade-offs in disaster victim identification

Disaster Victim Identification

Genetic analysis can help identify victims of mass fatalities when traditional methods cannot be used, or fail to yield conclusive results. Because next-generation sequencing (NGS) has no relevant limit on the number of loci that can be simultaneously analyzed, you can extract the maximum amount of information from evidence or a known reference sample.

Conventional disaster victim identification methods include fingerprints and odontology. Labs also use molecular methods such as DNA analysis and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequencing with capillary electrophoresis. Sample types processed after a mass fatality event can include bone fragments, tissue, various personal effects containing DNA, and buccal swabs from relatives.

Disaster Victim Identification

The goal of DNA testing for disaster victim identification is to extract as much genetic information as possible from highly compromised samples. With traditional DNA testing using capillary electrophoresis (CE), choosing one assay often precludes the ability to perform another. Analysts must evaluate the evidentiary material and decide which assay method to perform.

With Illumina NGS technology, these tradeoffs are eliminated. NGS systems such as the MiSeq FGx Forensic Genomics System have no relevant limit on the number of loci that can be analyzed on the same sample in the same run. Every locus can be assayed, including core sets of autosomal, Y and X STRs, and several categories of SNPs. The mtDNA genome can be analyzed in its entirety in a separate run.

For disaster victim identification, Illumina offers a complete, fully validated DNA-to-data solution designed for forensic genomics. Our recommended NGS workflow includes a dedicated library prep kit, customized benchtop sequencing instrument, and an analytical software package to simplify your lab operations.

Illumina sequencing by synthesis (SBS) technology on the MiSeq FGx Forensic Genomics System combines multiple tests in a single analysis. Achieve high resolution and exceptional accuracy from as little as 1 ng of DNA—even with complex mixtures or degraded DNA.

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 »

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

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mtDNA Analysis on the MiSeq
The Power of mtDNA Heteroplasmy

Hear Mitch Holland of Penn State explain how high-throughput sequencing is helping us realize the power of mtDNA heteroplasmy.

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MiSeq FGx Forensic Genomics System Brochure
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Achieve more conclusive forensic results with one unified workflow.

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