Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is a form of DNA found in the mitochondria of cells, and it is inherited solely from the mother. It is useful in forensic science because it is more abundant than nuclear DNA and is more resistant to degradation. In this article, we will discuss how mtDNA typing is used in forensic science.
What is Mitochondrial DNA?
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is a form of DNA found in the mitochondria of cells. It is inherited solely from the mother, making it useful in tracing maternal ancestry. It is more abundant than nuclear DNA, and it is more resistant to degradation. It is composed of 16,569 base pairs, which is much smaller than the 3 billion base pairs found in nuclear DNA.
How is MTDNA Typing Used in Forensics?
MtDNA typing is used in forensic science to identify individuals or to match individuals to a crime scene. The mtDNA is extracted from a sample and amplified using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Then, the mtDNA is sequenced and compared to reference mtDNA databases. If the sample matches the database, then the individual can be identified.
MtDNA typing is also used to identify remains, such as in cases of mass disasters or in cases where the remains are too degraded to get nuclear DNA. In these cases, mtDNA can be used to determine the identity of the remains.
MtDNA can also be used to link a suspect to a crime scene. If the mtDNA from a suspect and the mtDNA from a crime scene match, then it can be assumed that the suspect was at the crime scene.
MtDNA typing is a useful tool in forensic science. It can be used to identify individuals, link suspects to a crime scene, and identify remains. While it is not as reliable as nuclear DNA, it is still a valuable tool in forensic investigations.