Promega Kit Enables European Forensic Labs to Solve Challenging Cold Cases

  • Eight-color kit provides more usable information from degraded or inhibited DNA samples
  • Includes all DNA markers recommended by the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI)
  • Promega is the first manufacturer to produce eight-color chemistry for forensic DNA analysis

Madison, WI USA. — Forensic laboratories in Europe now have a new DNA analysis kit to efficiently process challenging casework samples. The PowerPlex® 18E System, launched by Promega Corporation, uses eight-color short tandem repeat (STR) analysis chemistry to extract more usable information from challenging samples. The kit includes all DNA markers recommended by the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI).

“Different regions have their own legal requirements and databases, as well as distinct genetic variations in their populations,” says Anupama Gopalakrishnan, Senior Product Manager at Promega Corporation. “This kit meets European forensic laboratories’ unique needs while also giving them more information from challenging DNA samples compared to earlier chemistries.”

Next-generation eight-color STR kits
STR analysis is the most widely used tool in human identification efforts. Most kits rely on five or six colors of dyes to mark regions of DNA that can help identify a match. Promega introduced the first commercially available eight-color STR multiplex chemistry in 2023 and expands on that product family with the PowerPlex® 18E System.

PowerPlex® 18E System features include:

  • 18 loci aligned with recommendations from ENFSI: The kit includes the SE33 locus, which has been shown to be particularly informative for analyzing DNA samples from European populations. At 170-324 base pairs, the size of the SE33 locus is the smallest of all commercially available multiplexes.
  • All loci amplicons less than 325 base pairs in length: Shorter amplicons are less likely to disappear during STR analysis, helping labs avoid data loss when working with degraded or limited samples.
  • Quality indicators for efficient troubleshooting: If an experiment fails to produce a usable profile, the quality indicators provide a quick visual cue for what might have gone wrong, such as inhibition, degradation or lack of DNA in the sample.

The PowerPlex® 18E System and other eight-color kits are intended to be used with the Spectrum CE System and the Spectrum Compact CE System, capillary electrophoresis instruments offered by Promega that support eight-color fragment analysis. Promega has been developing and manufacturing products for DNA-based human identification for more than 30 years.

About Promega Corporation 

Promega Corporation is a leader in providing innovative solutions and technical support to the life sciences industry. The company’s portfolio of over 4,000 products supports a range of life science work across areas such as cell biology; DNA, RNA and protein analysis; drug development; human identification and molecular diagnostics. These tools and technologies have grown in their application over the last 45 years and are used today by scientists and technicians in labs for academic and government research, forensics, pharmaceuticals, clinical diagnostics and agricultural and environmental testing. Promega is headquartered in Madison, WI, USA with branches in 16 countries and over 50 global distributors.

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