Date of Award

Spring 2012

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Criminal Justice

Committee Chair

Kuppareddi Balamuragan

Committee Chair Department

Criminal Justice

Committee Member 2

Dean Bertram

Committee Member 2 Department

Criminal Justice

Committee Member 3

Thomas Pittman

Committee Member 3 Department

Criminal Justice

Abstract

The first step in the determination of a perpetrator of a crime using DNA profiling is obtaining good quality DNA. The substrate on which the body fluid is located may contain substances that can co-extract with DNA and may inhibit subsequent PCR analysis. In this study, the efficiency of the removal of such contaminants were tested using three different methods, namely the PrepFiler DNA extraction kit, DNA IQ DNA extraction system, and the organic DNA extraction protocol. One, two, five, and ten μl of whole blood were deposited on soil, wood chips, and cotton swatches treated with bleach. DNA was extracted from all samples and controls using three extraction procedures and quantitated. The AmpflSTR Identifiler kit was used to develop genetic profiles to assess the quality of the extracted DNA. The overall recovery of DNA was reduced in all the treated samples compared to untreated ones. No DNA was recovered using the organic extraction on the soil and wood treated samples for all the sample volumes tested. Several fold reduction in the DNA recovery was noted for the PrepFiler kit and the DNA IQ system. Allelic drop-outs or complete absence of a genetic profile were identified for the soil and wood treated samples that were extracted using organic and PrepFiler extraction methods. The DNA IQ system was found to remove all the inhibitors from bleach, wood, and soil treated samples, yielding a complete genetic profile.

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