U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Non-destructive DNA analysis of single pollen grains

NCJ Number
Forensic Chemistry Volume: 20 Dated: 2020
Date Published

Since there are several challenges for the extraction of DNA from the pollen grains, such as keeping the grain intact for secondary analysis and bypassing the issue of DNA mixtures more likely to be observed in a pollen assemblage, the current study developed a new method to address these challenges by extracting genetic material while not destroying the pollen grain on a single grain level.


The study demonstrated the method's efficiency with Pinus echinata, Taxodium distichum, and Plantago lanceolata single pollen grains. Quantitative PCR amplification of two genetic markers, ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase (rbcL) and internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2), and digital microscopy demonstrated the non-destructive nature of this novel DNA extraction method from single pollen grains. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2020