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Study of Short- and Long-Term Storage of Teeth and Its Influence on DNA

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DNA degradation can interfere with the resolution of forensic cases. Allelic dropout often reduces the opportunity for adequate comparisons between degraded and reference samples. This study analyzed DNA degradation in 24 extracted teeth after storage at room temperature for 0, 2, 5, and 10 years. DNA concentration, quantified by dot-blot hybridization, declined significantly for the first 2 years, but there was no significant further degradation from the second to the tenth year of storage. COfiler™ analysis was used and the allelic dropout ratio for the amelogenin locus relative to CSF1PO locus was also estimated. Statistically significant differences were found between fresh teeth and teeth from the 2- and 5-year groups but not from the 10-year group. Under our storage conditions most of the DNA degradation occurred during the first 2 years. Further research is needed to control for individual and external factors that could affect DNA.
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Keywords: CSF1PO; D16S539; D3S1358; D7S820; DNA degradation; THO1; TPOX; amelogenin; forensic odontology; forensic science; short tandem repeat; teeth

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Forensic Medicine and Forensic Odontology, University of Granada, Granada 18071, Spain.

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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