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Application of Miniplex Primer Sets in the Analysis of Degraded DNA From Human Skeletal Remains

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 51 Issue: 2 Dated: March 2006 Pages: 351-356
Date Published
March 2006
6 pages

This study extracted naturally degraded DNA from human skeletal remains exposed to a variety of environmental conditions and amplified it with the Miniplex primer sets.


Overall, the Miniplexes produced results for at least 11 of the 12 loci for all samples in which the total amount of DNA recovered was above 250 pg. The commercial kit with its larger loci averaged only eight loci for these same samples, with some samples producing as little as one amplified locus. Because only three of the six buried bone samples contained larger quantities of DNA, it was difficult to assess the effect of burial compared with surface treatment (14 samples). DNA degradation may be caused by a variety of factors, including humidity, temperature, soil pH, and the presence of microorganisms. These were not controlled in this study. Results from this study are consistent with previous research that used enzymes to degrade samples artificially. Generally, the Miniplex primer sets provide a powerful new tool for the determination of DNA profiles when only partial genetic profiles are produced from standard kits because of DNA degradation. The study used one tibia sample and 24 femur samples from 25 individuals in the collection of the Forensic Anthropology Center at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. The remains had been subjected to various environmental conditions, cleaned, and heated without chemicals for 6 to 12 hours. Six additional femur samples from six individuals were obtained from the Franklin County Coroner's Office (Ohio). This paper describes bone preparation for this study, DNA extraction and quantification, PCR amplification, and detection and data analysis. 3 tables, 3 figures, and 20 references

Date Published: March 1, 2006