Volume 48, Issue 1 (January 2003)
Validation of Cytochrome b Sequence Analysis as a Method of Species Identification
One of the stages of dealing with biological material submitted to forensic laboratories is species identification. The aim of the present work was to validate and assess the possibility of applying sequence analysis of the region coding cytochrome b as a method of species identification in the field of forensic science. DNA originating from individuals from major phyla of vertebrates was isolated by the organic method from various specimens. Extracted DNA was subjected to PCR and direct cycle sequencing using a universal pair of primers. The validation process, performed according to TWGDAM recommendations, revealed that the technique is a very sensitive and reliable method of species identification allowing analysis of tiny amounts of material and also degraded material, and can be useful in the field of forensic genetics. The case example presented here, concerning the determination of species origin of biological evidence collected from fatal road accident, confirms that analysis can be carried out even when there is no reference sample, and the sequences obtained can be assessed through analysis of their similarity to sequences for cytochrome b present in DNA databases.