Review and future prospects for DNA barcoding methods in forensic palynology

Forensic Summary by Marissa Felinczak 

The article Review and Future Prospects for DNA Barcoding Methods in Forensic Palynology presents a novel idea about DNA barcoding. DNA barcoding is a relatively new technique that uses specific markers in DNA to identify the species the DNA belongs to. DNA barcoding is particularly useful in the field of forensic science because it overcomes many limitations that other DNA techniques have. Pollen as an investigative tool can help determine pollen populations in missing person’s cases and other cases. Studying pollen on a sample could help indicate what region or location is missing person may have been. DNA barcoding of pollen would great help the field of forensic palynology if it was accessible to forensic laboratories.

In order for DNA barcoding to be successful for pollen, a genetic marker needs to be identified, a DNA isolation and sequencing method must be identified such that there is a differentiation between species, and a database of the genetic markers of plants must be created in order to compare a specific sample to. If this is done DNA barcoding could greatly influence the field of forensics by using pollen as a geographical and temporal marker.

Bell, Karen L. Et al. Review and future prospects for DNA barcoding methods in forensic palynology. Forensic Science International: Genetics. 2015. doi:10.1016/j.fsigen.2015.12.010

 

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