skip navigation

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

  NCJ Number: NCJ 236692   Add to Shopping cart   Find in a Library
  Title: An Investigation of the Effect of DNA Degradation and Inhibition on PCR Amplification of Single Source and Mixed Forensic Samples
  Document URL: PDF 
  Author(s): Bruce McCord ; Kerry Opel ; Maribel Funes ; Silvia Zoppis ; Lee Meadows Jantz
  Date Published: 2011
  Page Count: 66
  Annotation: This research examined the mechanisms for PCR inhibition and degradation as well as their effects on forensic DNA typing, which could lead to the development of more sensitive and robust analytical protocols.
  Abstract: Based on the results, the researchers conclude that environmental damage to DNA in tissue samples occurs rapidly in reaching the state in which DNA becomes nearly unrecoverable. The template in such samples breaks down to small pieces in as little as 3 weeks. The effects of oxidative damage on such samples, however, was minimal. No oxidation of DNA bases was found for environmentally degraded DNA, although it was present in saliva samples. The study found that the combination of real-time PCR and DNA melt curves is an effective tool for the detection of PCR inhibition and permits classification of various inhibitors based on their behavior. In addition, the research found that the effects of DNA binding appear to be sequence-specific and/or length-specific PCR inhibitors that mainly affect Taq tend to inhibit DNA by influencing the largest alleles first, and inhibitors that bind DNA may affect smaller alleles as well as larger ones. Further, it has been widely reported that MiniSTRs improve resistance to PCR inhibition. Based on the findings of the current research, however, a caveat should be that such improvements may depend on the type of inhibition. Sequence-specific inhibition may still cause problems even with reduced sized amplicons. Regarding methodology, the researchers performed controlled studies in order to clarify the mechanisms of environmental and chemical degradation and PCR inhibition on single-source samples and mixtures. This was done by using real-time PCR and HPLC/EC in order to evaluate the mechanisms of DNA degradation, oxidative damage, and PCR inhibition on the recovery of STR profiles. Both degraded and pristine DNA were examined. 2 tables, 6 figures, and 32 references
  Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
  Index Term(s): Trace evidence ; Evidence identification and analysis ; Victim identification ; Suspect identification ; Forensics/Forensic Sciences ; Investigative techniques ; DNA fingerprinting ; NIJ final report
  Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
  Grant Number: 2006-DN-BX-K006
  Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
  Type: Report (Study/Research)
  Country: United States of America
  Language: English
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.