Journal Published Online: 01 July 1991
Volume 36, Issue 4

Characterization of Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) Obtained from Teeth Subjected to Various Environmental Conditions



This study was designed to determine the effects of various environmental factors on the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) obtained from dental pulp. Extracted teeth were subjected to the following conditions: varying pH (3.7, 10); temperature (4°C, 25°C, 37°C, incineration); humidity (20%, 66%, 98%); various types of soil (sand, potting soil, garden soil); seawater; burying the teeth outdoors, and aging (one week to six months). In addition, teeth that had been extracted and held at room temperature for 16 and 19 years were also examined. Following isolation of DNA, the samples were analyzed on yield gels to determine the concentration and integrity of the recovered DNA. Restriction digestion with Pst I was followed by electrophoresis of the generated fragments, Southern transfer to nylon membranes, and hybridization to both human and bacterial probes. It was determined that, aside from soil, the environmental conditions examined did not affect the ability to obtain high-molecular-weight human DNA from dental pulp. Restriction fragment length polymorphic (RFLP) analysis of selected samples was performed. Dental pulp patterns were compared with bloodstain exemplars, revealing matching patterns, although an increase in band-shifting was observed with extended exposure to elevated temperatures.

Author Information

Schwartz, TR
Lifecodes Corporation, Valhalla, NY
Schwartz, EA
Union County Prosecutor's Office, Westfield, NJ
Mieszerski, L
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, New York, NY
McNally, L
Lifecodes Corporation, Valhalla, NY
Kobilinsky, L
Doctoral Faculty, Ph.D. Program in Biochemistry, Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York, NY
Pages: 12
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Stock #: JFS13113J
ISSN: 0022-1198
DOI: 10.1520/JFS13113J