Present address: 220 Nutting Hall, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469.
PAPER Criminalistics; PATHOLOGY/BIOLOGY; ANTHROPOLOGY
Simplified Field Preservation of Tissues for Subsequent DNA Analyses*
Article first published online: 11 APR 2011
© 2011 American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Journal of Forensic Sciences
Volume 56, Issue 4, pages 846–852, July 2011
How to Cite
Michaud, C. L. and Foran, D. R. (2011), Simplified Field Preservation of Tissues for Subsequent DNA Analyses. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 56: 846–852. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2011.01771.x
Presented at the 58th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, February 20–25, 2006, in Seattle, WA; and the 59th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, February 19–24, 2007, in San Antonio, TX.
- Issue published online: 5 JUL 2011
- Article first published online: 11 APR 2011
- Received 10 Mar. 2010; and in revised form 03 June 2010; accepted 24 July 2010.
- forensic science;
- DNA preservation;
- mass disaster;
- tissue preservation;
- tissue storage;
- DNA quality;
- disaster response;
- insulin growth factor 1
Abstract: Successful DNA-based identification of mass disaster victims depends on acquiring tissues that are not highly degraded. In this study, multiple protocols for field preservation of tissues for later DNA analysis were tested. Skin and muscle samples were collected from decaying pig carcasses. Tissues were preserved using cold storage, desiccation, or room temperature storage in preservative solutions for up to 6 months. DNA quality was assessed through amplification of successively larger segments of nuclear DNA. Solution-based storage, including a DMSO/NaCl/EDTA mixture, alcohols, and RNAlater preserved DNA of the highest quality, refrigeration was intermediate, and desiccation was least effective. Tissue type and extent of decomposition significantly affected stored DNA quality. Overall, the results indicate that any tissue preservation attempt is far superior to delaying or forgoing preservation efforts, and that simple, inexpensive methods can be highly effective in preserving DNA, thus should be initiated as quickly as possible.