Article

The Application of Miniplex Primer Sets in the Analysis of Degraded DNA from Human Skeletal Remains*

The University of Tennessee Medical Center at Knoxville, Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
Journal of Forensic Sciences (Impact Factor: 1.31). 04/2006; 51(2):351-6. DOI: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2006.00077.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A new set of multiplexed PCR primers has been applied to the analysis of human skeletal remains to determine their efficacy in analyzing degraded DNA. These primer sets, known as Miniplexes, produce shorter amplicons (50-280 base pairs (bp)) than standard short tandem repeat (STR) kits, but still utilize the 13 CODIS STR loci, providing results that are searchable on national DNA databases. In this study, a set of 31 different human remains were exposed to a variety of environmental conditions, extracted, and amplified with commercial and Miniplex DNA typing kits. The amplification efficiency of the Miniplex sets was then compared with the Promega PowerPlex 16 system. Sixty-four percent of the samples generated full profiles when amplified with the Miniplexes, while only 16% of the samples generated full profiles with the Powerplex 16 kit. Complete profiles were obtained for 11 of the 12 Miniplex loci with amplicon sizes less than 200 bp. These data suggest smaller PCR amplicons may provide a useful alternative to mitochondrial DNA for anthropological and forensic analysis of degraded DNA from human skeletal remains.

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    • "Biochemical studies have increased in frequency during the past several years. For example, researchers have used decomposing remains to investigate methods of recovering degraded DNA from bone, hair, fingernails, and fingerprints and to test the effects of different environmental conditions on the quality and quantity of DNA recovery (i.e., open ground, shaded ground, burial, and water) (Opel et al., 2006). Vass et al. (1992, 2002, 2004, 2008) conducted seminal research in estimating time since death from the amounts of volatile fatty acids and odor compounds. "
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    • "STR loci are the most commonly used loci for human identification (Chung et al., 2004; Butler, 2005; Butler et al., 2003). This is because these loci are highly polymorphic, require minimal template DNA to facilitate genotyping and they possess a narrow size range, thereby making it more ease when multiplexing (Hummel et al., 1999; Butler, 2005; Chung et al., 2004; Opel et al., 2006). Dinucleotide, trinucleotide and tetranucleotide STR loci have been used as markers in linkage studies and in the building of the human genetic map (Fornage et al., 1992; Edwards et al., 1991). "
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    • "Biochemical studies have increased in frequency during the past several years. For example, researchers have used decomposing remains to investigate methods of recovering degraded DNA from bone, hair, fingernails, and fingerprints and to test the effects of different environmental conditions on the quality and quantity of DNA recovery (i.e., open ground, shaded ground, burial, and water) (Opel et al., 2006). Vass et al. (1992, 2002, 2004, 2008) conducted seminal research in estimating time since death from the amounts of volatile fatty acids and odor compounds. "
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