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01.09.2009 | Original Article | Ausgabe 5/2009

International Journal of Legal Medicine 5/2009

Forensic botany: species identification of botanical trace evidence using a multigene barcoding approach

Zeitschrift:
International Journal of Legal Medicine > Ausgabe 5/2009
Autoren:
Gianmarco Ferri, Milena Alù, Beatrice Corradini, Giovanni Beduschi
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s00414-009-0356-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Abstact

Forensic botany can provide significant supporting evidence during criminal investigations. However, it is still an underutilized field of investigation with its most common application limited to identifying specific as well as suspected illegal plants. The ubiquitous presence of plant species can be useful in forensics, but the absence of an accurate identification system remains the major obstacle to the present inability to routinely and correctly identify trace botanical evidence. Many plant materials cannot be identified and differentiated to the species level by traditional morphological characteristics when botanical specimens are degraded and lack physical features. By taking advantage of a universal barcode system, DNA sequencing, and other biomolecular techniques used routinely in forensic investigations, two chloroplast DNA regions were evaluated for their use as “barcoding” markers for plant identification in the field of forensics. We therefore investigated the forensic use of two non-coding plastid regions, psbA-trnH and trnL-trnF, to create a multimarker system for species identification that could be useful throughout the plant kingdom. The sequences from 63 plants belonging to our local flora were submitted and registered on the GenBank database. Sequence comparison to set up the level of identification (species, genus, or family) through Blast algorithms allowed us to assess the suitability of this method. The results confirmed the effectiveness of our botanic universal multimarker assay in forensic investigations.

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Zusatzmaterial
Supplementary Table S1 List of plant species investigated in this study. The nucleotide sequence derived is available under the corresponding accession number (DOC 104 kb)
414_2009_356_MOESM2_ESM.doc
Supplementary Table S2 List of plant species and corresponding GenBank accession numbers retrieved from the database for sequence diversity analysis at the genus level for psbA-trnH intergenic spacer (DOC 63 kb)
414_2009_356_MOESM3_ESM.doc
Supplementary Table S3 List of plant species and corresponding GenBank accession numbers retrieved from the database for sequence diversity analysis at the genus level for trnL-trnF intergenic spacer (DOC 434 kb)
414_2009_356_MOESM4_ESM.doc
Supplementary Table S4 The size distributions of PCR products in the different families (DOC 61 kb)
414_2009_356_MOESM5_ESM.doc
Supplementary Table S5 Results of the statistical analysis for the three molecular diversity indices calculated at the family level (DOC 61 kb)
414_2009_356_MOESM6_ESM.doc
Supplementary Table S6 Results of the statistical analysis for the three molecular diversity indices calculated between congeneric species (DOC 68 kb)
414_2009_356_MOESM7_ESM.doc
Supplementary Table S7 BLAST search results of psbA-trnH and trnL-trnF for the plant species for which corresponding sequences are published in GenBank (DOC 155 kb)
414_2009_356_MOESM8_ESM.doc
Supplementary Table S8 BLAST search results of psbA-trnH and trnL-trnF for the plant species for which corresponding sequences are not published in GenBank (DOC 109 kb)
414_2009_356_MOESM9_ESM.doc
Literatur
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