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Sorenson Genomics of Salt Lake City, a provider of DNA testing services, said it has acquired the Identigene laboratory in Houston.

Identigene, which was founded in 1993, was among the first laboratories to perform commercial paternity testing and has provided forensic DNA work and other services for more than 200,000 clients.

Sorenson Genomics and Identigene are both nationally recognized DNA laboratories, said Douglass Fogg, chief operating officer of Sorenson Genomics. "Both of our operations will benefit from each others' expertise."

Fogg explained that Identigene primarily serves two DNA-testing market segments. It offers forensic testing services, which is primarily criminal casework for law enforcement agencies and defense attorneys, and paternity and family testing.

Sorenson also offers those services along with genetic genealogy and ancestry testing, much of which it performs for the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation, a nonprofit organization that maintains an extensive database to help families trace the origins of their ancestral DNA.

Identigene will keep its name and remain in Houston but will gain access to more investment in technology, Fogg said.

"What we have found is that many customers really have an affinity for doing business with laboratories within their geographical region," Fogg said. "So our acquisition of Identigene will help give our business gain a greater national presence."

Identigene's executive director, Michelle Council, said the merger with Sorenson will give the Houston company greater access to marketing expertise in providing direct-to-consumer DNA testing services via the Internet.

"And from a forensic standpoint, they [Sorenson] will benefit from our extensive contracts proving services to government agencies," she said.

Fogg said Identigene employs about 30 people in Houston while Sorenson employs about 65 people in Utah.

Since both companies are privately held, the terms of the transaction were not disclosed.