The use of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) for maternal lineage identification often marks the last resort when investigating forensic and missing-person cases involving highly degraded biological materials. As with all comparative DNA testing, a match between evidence and reference sample requires a statistical interpretation, for which high-quality mtDNA population frequency data are crucial. Here, we determined, under high quality standards, the complete mtDNA control-region sequences of 680 individuals from across the Netherlands sampled at 54 sites, covering the entire country with 10 geographic sub-regions. The complete mtDNA control region (nucleotide positions 16,024-16,569 and 1-576) was amplified with two PCR primers and sequenced with ten different sequencing primers using the EMPOP protocol. Haplotype diversity of the entire sample set was very high at 99.63% and, accordingly, the random-match probability was 0.37%. No population substructure within the Netherlands was detected with our dataset. Phylogenetic analyses were performed to determine mtDNA haplogroups. Inclusion of these high-quality data in the EMPOP database (accession number: EMP00666) will improve its overall data content and geographic coverage in the interest of all EMPOP users worldwide. Moreover, this dataset will serve as (the start of) a national reference database for mtDNA applications in forensic and missing person casework in the Netherlands.

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Keywords Control region, EMPOP, Forensic database, Haplogroups, mtDNA, Sequencing
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Journal Forensic Science International: Genetics
Grant This work was funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme; grant id fp7/285487 - EUROPEAN FORENSIC GENETICS Network of Excellence (EUROFORGEN-NOE)
Chaitanya, L.C, van Oven, M, Brauer, S, Zimmermann, B, Huber, G, Xavier, C, … Kayser, M.H. (2016). High-quality mtDNA control region sequences from 680 individuals sampled across the Netherlands to establish a national forensic mtDNA reference database. Forensic Science International: Genetics, 21, 158–167. doi:10.1016/j.fsigen.2015.12.002