Volume 37, Issue 21 p. 2841-2847
Research Article

An assessment of a massively parallel sequencing approach for the identification of individuals from mass graves of the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939)

Francesc Calafell

Francesc Calafell

Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (UPF-CSIC), Departament de Ciències Experimentals i de la Salut, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, 08003 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

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Roger Anglada

Roger Anglada

Genomics Core Facility, Departament de Ciències Experimentals i de la Salut, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

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Núria Bonet

Núria Bonet

Genomics Core Facility, Departament de Ciències Experimentals i de la Salut, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

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Mercedes González-Ruiz

Mercedes González-Ruiz

Unitat d'Antropologia Biològica, Departament de Biologia Animal, Biologia Vegetal i Ecologia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

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Gemma Prats-Muñoz

Gemma Prats-Muñoz

Unitat d'Antropologia Biològica, Departament de Biologia Animal, Biologia Vegetal i Ecologia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

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Raquel Rasal

Raquel Rasal

Genomics Core Facility, Departament de Ciències Experimentals i de la Salut, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

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Carles Lalueza-Fox

Carles Lalueza-Fox

Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (UPF-CSIC), Departament de Ciències Experimentals i de la Salut, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, 08003 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

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Jaume Bertranpetit

Jaume Bertranpetit

Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (UPF-CSIC), Departament de Ciències Experimentals i de la Salut, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, 08003 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

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Assumpció Malgosa

Assumpció Malgosa

Unitat d'Antropologia Biològica, Departament de Biologia Animal, Biologia Vegetal i Ecologia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

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Ferran Casals

Corresponding Author

Ferran Casals

Genomics Core Facility, Departament de Ciències Experimentals i de la Salut, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Correspondence: Dr. Ferran Casals, Genomics Core Facility, Departament de Ciències Experimentals i de la Salut, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona, Carrer Doctor Aiguader 88, 08003 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

E-mail: [email protected]

Fax: +34 933160901

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First published: 04 August 2016
Citations: 22

Abstract

Next-generation sequencing technologies have opened new opportunities in forensic genetics. Here, we assess the applicability and performance of the MiSeq FGx™ & ForenSeq™ DNA Signature Prep Kit (Illumina) for the identification of individuals from the mass graves of the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939). The main limitations for individual identification are the low number of possible first-degree living relatives and the high levels of DNA degradation reported in previous studies. Massively parallel sequencing technologies enabling the analysis of hundreds of regions and prioritizing short length amplicons constitute a promising tool for this kind of approaches. In this study, we first explore the power of this new technology to detect first- and second-degree kinship given different scenarios of DNA degradation. Second, we specifically assess its performance in a set of low DNA input samples previously analyzed with CE technologies. We conclude that this methodology will allow identification of up to second-degree relatives, even in situations with low sequencing performance and important levels of allele drop-out; it is thus a technology that resolves previous drawbacks and that will allow a successful approximation to the identification of remains.