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Exploring the Genetic Diversity of Bacterial Populations in Soil for Forensic Applications

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Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2008, $20,000)

Non-human DNA evidence can include such items as biological materials from animals, various types of plant tissues, and also soils. By using a variety of molecular techniques, the genetic composition of each of these materials can be analyzed to produce a DNA 'fingerprint', or profile. Since a majority of crimes are committed outdoors, soil evidence can provide valuable information as associative evidence. The goal of this project is to help bridge the gap between basic soil research (bacterial DNA profiles) and successful application of forensic soil typing techniques. Current methods have been found to lack discriminatory capabilities. This research will use a method called pyrosequencing to examine the potential for species-specific detection of bacteria, ultimately developing a multiplex typing kit for soil. ca/ncf

Date Created: September 29, 2009