Forensic STR profiling using Oxford Nanopore Technologies' MinION sequencer
2nd October 2018 - BioRxiv
Forensic STR profiling using massively parallel sequencing (MPS) has gained much attention as an alternative for the traditional capillary electrophoresis (CE) methods. Oxford Nanopore Technologies recently developed the 'MinION', a pocket-sized nanopore sequencer with promising features that could be useful in the field of forensic genetics. We applied this technology for forensic sequencing in a pilot study. Using standard STR primers, originally designed for multiplex PCR and CE, we developed a library preparation method suited for nanopore sequencing. Several analysis approaches were evaluated to explore the usefulness of the generated data: we developed and applied both a sequence-based and an amplicon length-based analysis on data originating from a 14-loci multiplex PCR on a single contributor DNA sample. Despite the high sequencing error rate, the analyses yielded partial forensic profiles with some useful evidential value.