Cellmark’s scientists provide a forensic quality mitochondrial DNA sequencing service accredited to ISO 17025
Mitochondrial DNA sequencing is a very useful forensic technique for analysing biological samples when a standard (nuclear) STR result cannot be produced, such as a hair without a root, or an ancient bone sample, or when the aim is to support or exclude an ancestral maternal relationship across several generations. Mitochondria are small subcellular bodies that are the site of energy production in cells. Each cell contains many hundreds or thousands of mitochondria, each containing a small circular loop of DNA. Because there are multiple copies of mitochondrial DNA present in each cell, it is often retained in old samples and samples where the nuclear DNA has been destroyed or degraded. The analysis is more complex and lengthy than routine STR analysis and, because it is one of the most sensitive types of forensic DNA testing, additional precautions need to be taken in the laboratory.