Evaluation of the Precision ID Ancestry Panel for crime case work: A SNP typing assay developed for typing of 165 ancestral informative markers

Forensic Sci Int Genet. 2017 May;28:138-145. doi: 10.1016/j.fsigen.2017.02.013. Epub 2017 Feb 24.


The application of massive parallel sequencing (MPS) methodologies in forensic genetics is promising and it is gradually being implemented in forensic genetic case work. One of the major advantages of these technologies is that several traditional electrophoresis assays can be combined into one single MPS assay. This reduces both the amount of sample used and the time of the investigations. This study assessed the utility of the Precision ID Ancestry Panel (Thermo Fisher Scientific, Waltham, USA) in forensic genetics. This assay was developed for the Ion Torrent PGM™ System and genotypes 165 ancestry informative SNPs. The performance of the assay and the accompanying software solution for ancestry inference was assessed by typing 142 Danes and 98 Somalis. Locus balance, heterozygote balance, and noise levels were calculated and future analysis criteria for crime case work were estimated. Overall, the Precision ID Ancestry Panel performed well, and only minor changes to the recommended protocol were implemented. Three out of the 165 loci (rs459920, rs7251928, and rs7722456) had consistently poor performance, mainly due to misalignment of homopolymeric stretches. We suggest that these loci should be excluded from the analyses. The different statistical methods for reporting ancestry in forensic genetic case work are discussed.

Keywords: Ancestry informative markers (AIMs); Ancestry prediction; Forensic genetics; Ion Torrent PGM; Massive parallel sequencing (MPS).

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Denmark
  • Forensic Genetics
  • Genetic Markers
  • Genetics, Population*
  • Genotyping Techniques
  • Heterozygote
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing / instrumentation*
  • Humans
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Racial Groups / genetics*
  • Somalia


  • Genetic Markers