Volume 43, Issue 3 (May 1998)
Mitochondrial DNA Sequencing of Shed Hairs and Saliva on Robbery Caps: Sensitivity and Matching Probabilities
Sequencing of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) has been used for human identification based on teeth and skeletal remains. Here, we describe an amplification system for the mtDNA control region (D-loop) suited for the analysis of shed hair, which constitutes the most common biological evidence material in forensic investigations. The success rate was over 90% when applied to evidence materials such as shed hair, saliva stains and saliva on stamps. The analysis of evidence materials collected from three similar robberies revealed the presence of mtDNA sequences identical to those of the suspects in the three crimes. The use of mtDNA control region sequences for individual identification was evaluated. The probability of identity by chance for the mtDNA types of the suspects in the robberies was found to vary between Pr = 0.017 − <0.0017, depending on the reference population used, emphasizing the need for large population databases to obtain the appropriate estimate.