open access

Vol 53, No 4 (2015)
Original paper
Submitted: 2015-09-01
Accepted: 2015-10-26
Published online: 2016-01-07
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The influence of high temperature on the possibility of DNA typing in various human tissues

Agnieszka Maciejewska, Renata Wlodarczyk, Ryszard Pawlowski
DOI: 10.5603/fhc.a2015.0029
·
Pubmed: 26542828
·
Folia Histochem Cytobiol 2015;53(4):322-332.

open access

Vol 53, No 4 (2015)
ORIGINAL PAPERS
Submitted: 2015-09-01
Accepted: 2015-10-26
Published online: 2016-01-07

Abstract

Introduction. The identification of unknown victims of high temperatures (fire, terrorist attack, and other disasters) is one of the most difficult tasks faced by forensic geneticists. The main aim of this study was to in­vestigate the availability of DNA isolated from various human tissue samples exposed to high temperatures of 100–1000°C for 5 and 10 minutes.

Material and methods. Samples of varying thickness of thigh muscle, liver, heart, adipose tissue, bone, teeth, hair and nails of 52 fresh cadavers and 59 healthy teeth of 29 volunteers were used. The study was performed using the following commercially available STR (Short Tandem Repeats) and miniSTR kits: AmpFlSTR®SGM Plus® and AmpFlSTR®MiniFilerTM. Hyper variable region I (HVI) of human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) was sequenced with BigDye Terminator Cycle Sequencing Kit 1.1. The PEP (Primer-Extension Preamplification) method was used for the whole human genome amplification.

Results. It was possible to obtain complete DNA profiles (AmpFlSTR®SGM Plus®, AmpFlSTR®MiniFilerTM Applied Biosystems, USA and mtDNA HVI region) for tissue samples of heart, liver and thigh muscle, exposed up to 900°C for 5 min. However, under the applied conditions, limited usefulness of hair, nails and teeth for identification purposes was shown.

Conclusions. DNA stability in tissues subjected to incineration depends on many factors, like tissue type and its thickness, temperature and time of exposure. In the cases of human remains exposed to high temperatures, samples of soft tissues of the highest weight (thickness) provide the best chance of successful identification through the genetic analysis.

In some cases of negative results, even if using mtDNA typing, application of the whole genome amplification (WGA) technique could provide the expected results for highly degraded DNA templates.

Abstract

Introduction. The identification of unknown victims of high temperatures (fire, terrorist attack, and other disasters) is one of the most difficult tasks faced by forensic geneticists. The main aim of this study was to in­vestigate the availability of DNA isolated from various human tissue samples exposed to high temperatures of 100–1000°C for 5 and 10 minutes.

Material and methods. Samples of varying thickness of thigh muscle, liver, heart, adipose tissue, bone, teeth, hair and nails of 52 fresh cadavers and 59 healthy teeth of 29 volunteers were used. The study was performed using the following commercially available STR (Short Tandem Repeats) and miniSTR kits: AmpFlSTR®SGM Plus® and AmpFlSTR®MiniFilerTM. Hyper variable region I (HVI) of human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) was sequenced with BigDye Terminator Cycle Sequencing Kit 1.1. The PEP (Primer-Extension Preamplification) method was used for the whole human genome amplification.

Results. It was possible to obtain complete DNA profiles (AmpFlSTR®SGM Plus®, AmpFlSTR®MiniFilerTM Applied Biosystems, USA and mtDNA HVI region) for tissue samples of heart, liver and thigh muscle, exposed up to 900°C for 5 min. However, under the applied conditions, limited usefulness of hair, nails and teeth for identification purposes was shown.

Conclusions. DNA stability in tissues subjected to incineration depends on many factors, like tissue type and its thickness, temperature and time of exposure. In the cases of human remains exposed to high temperatures, samples of soft tissues of the highest weight (thickness) provide the best chance of successful identification through the genetic analysis.

In some cases of negative results, even if using mtDNA typing, application of the whole genome amplification (WGA) technique could provide the expected results for highly degraded DNA templates.

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Keywords

human tissues; DNA identification; DNA stability; high temperatures; STR; mtDNA; WGA

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About this article
Title

The influence of high temperature on the possibility of DNA typing in various human tissues

Journal

Folia Histochemica et Cytobiologica

Issue

Vol 53, No 4 (2015)

Article type

Original paper

Pages

322-332

Published online

2016-01-07

DOI

10.5603/fhc.a2015.0029

Pubmed

26542828

Bibliographic record

Folia Histochem Cytobiol 2015;53(4):322-332.

Keywords

human tissues
DNA identification
DNA stability
high temperatures
STR
mtDNA
WGA

Authors

Agnieszka Maciejewska
Renata Wlodarczyk
Ryszard Pawlowski

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