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Application of plant DNA markers in forensic botany: Genetic comparison of Quercus evidence leaves to crime

Summary: Application of plant DNA markers in forensic botany:
Genetic comparison of Quercus evidence leaves to crime
scene trees using microsatellites
Kathleen J. Craft a
, Jeffrey D. Owens b
, Mary V. Ashley a,*
Department of Biological Sciences, 845 W. Taylor St., M/C 066, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607, United States
Marion County Sheriff's Office, Ocala, FL 34478, United States
Received 1 March 2005; received in revised form 3 March 2006; accepted 3 March 2006
Available online 2 May 2006
As highly polymorphic DNA markers become increasingly available for a wide range of plant and animal species, there will be increasing
opportunities for applications to forensic investigations. To date, however, relatively few studies have reported using DNA profiles of non-human
species to place suspects at or near crime scenes. Here we describe an investigation of a double homicide of a female and her near-term fetus. Leaf
material taken from a suspect's vehicle was identified to be that of sand live oak, Quercus geminata, the same tree species that occurred near a
shallow grave where the victims were found. Quercus-specific DNA microsatellites were used to genotype both dried and fresh material from trees
located near the burial site and from the material taken from the suspect's car. Samples from the local population of Q. geminata were also collected
and genotyped in order to demonstrate that genetic variation at four microsatellite loci was sufficient to assign leaves to an individual tree with high


Source: Ashley, Mary V. - Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago


Collections: Biology and Medicine; Environmental Sciences and Ecology