In the United States, human forensic evidence collected from crime scenes is usually comingled with biomaterial of canine and feline origins. Knowledge of the concentration of nuclear DNA extracted from a crime scene biological sample and the species from which the sample originated is essential for DNA profiling. The ability to accurately detect and quantify target DNA in mixed-species samples is crucial when target DNA may be overwhelmed by non-target DNA. We have designed and evaluated a species-specific (human, dog and cat) nuclear DNA identification assay based on the TaqMan ® quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) technology that can simultaneously detect and measure minute quantities of DNA specific to either humans, dogs and/or cats. The fluorogenic triplex assay employs primers and hydrolysis probes that target the human TH01 locus as well as the dog and cat Melanocortin 1 Receptor (MC1R) sequences in a species-specific manner. We also demonstrate that the assay is a highly sensitive, reliable and robust method for identifying and quantifying mixed-species templates of human-dog-cat origin with as little as 0.4 pg of human and cat nuclear DNA, respectively, and 4.0 pg of dog nuclear DNA.
- DNA quantification
- Human, dog and cat forensic DNA analysis
- Species identification
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine