Forensic mitochondrial DNA analysis: Current practice and future potential

Mitchell Mark Holland, Terry Melton, Charity Anne Holland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Current practices for performing forensic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence analysis, as employed in public and private laboratories across the United States, have changed remarkably little over the past 20 years. Alternative approaches have been developed and proposed, and new technologies have emerged, but the core methods have remained relatively unchanged. Once DNA has been recovered from biological material (for example, from older skeletal remains and hair shafts), segments of the mtDNA control region are amplified using a variety of approaches, dictated by the quality of the sample being tested. The amplified mtDNA products are subjected to Sanger-based sequencing and data interpretation is performed using one of many available software packages. These relatively simple methods, at least in retrospect, have remained robust, and have stood the test of time. However, alternative methods for mtDNA analysis remain viable options (for example, linear array assays and dHPLC), and should be revisited as the desire to streamline the testing process, interpret heteroplasmy, and deconvolute mixed mtDNA profiles intensifies. Therefore, it is important to periodically reassess the alternative methods available to the mtDNA practitioner, and to evaluate newer technologies being put forth by the scientific community, for example, next-generation sequencing. Although the basic mitochondrial DNA protocols and practices of public and private laboratories are similar, an overview of the current practices of forensic mtDNA analysis is provided, helping to frame the path forward.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationForensic DNA Analysis
Subtitle of host publicationCurrent Practices and Emerging Technologies
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages249-278
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9781466571365
ISBN (Print)9781466571266
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 19 2013

Fingerprint

genetic test
Mitochondrial DNA
new technology
scientific community
Technology
interpretation
Private Practice
DNA sequences
DNA Sequence Analysis
Software packages
Hair
Biological materials
Assays
Software
Network protocols
DNA
Testing

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

Holland, M. M., Melton, T., & Holland, C. A. (2013). Forensic mitochondrial DNA analysis: Current practice and future potential. In Forensic DNA Analysis: Current Practices and Emerging Technologies (pp. 249-278). Taylor and Francis. https://doi.org/10.1201/b15361
Holland, Mitchell Mark ; Melton, Terry ; Holland, Charity Anne. / Forensic mitochondrial DNA analysis : Current practice and future potential. Forensic DNA Analysis: Current Practices and Emerging Technologies. Taylor and Francis, 2013. pp. 249-278
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Holland, MM, Melton, T & Holland, CA 2013, Forensic mitochondrial DNA analysis: Current practice and future potential. in Forensic DNA Analysis: Current Practices and Emerging Technologies. Taylor and Francis, pp. 249-278. https://doi.org/10.1201/b15361

Forensic mitochondrial DNA analysis : Current practice and future potential. / Holland, Mitchell Mark; Melton, Terry; Holland, Charity Anne.

Forensic DNA Analysis: Current Practices and Emerging Technologies. Taylor and Francis, 2013. p. 249-278.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Holland MM, Melton T, Holland CA. Forensic mitochondrial DNA analysis: Current practice and future potential. In Forensic DNA Analysis: Current Practices and Emerging Technologies. Taylor and Francis. 2013. p. 249-278 https://doi.org/10.1201/b15361