Effects of presumptive test reagents on the ability to obtain restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) patterns from human blood and semen stains

M. N. Hochmeister, B. Budowle, F. S. Baechtel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

Some of the commonly used presumptive test reagents for identification of blood and semen could potentially affect the recovery of intact high- molecular-weight deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) from evidentiary samples. Thus, the capability of performing restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis on evidentiary samples could be compromised. In order to investigate the potential effects of presumptive test reagents on the DNA present in these samples, bloodstains on cotton and glass were exposed directly to luminol, benzidine, phenolphthalein, o-tolidine, and leucomalachite green, while semen stains and vaginal swabs containing semen were exposed directly to bromochloroindolyl phosphate (BCIP) and sodium thymolphthalein monophosphate (STMP) reagents. The yield gels for DNA quality and quantity and RFLP results indicated that bloodstains exposed to luminol, benzidine dissolved in ethanol, and phenolphthalein, as well as semen stains and vaginal swabs exposed to BCIP and STMP yield RFLP patterns consistent with that of the uncontaminated control. Except for the phenolphthalein treatment, the quantity of extractable, high-molecular-weight DNA obtained was comparable with that of untreated stains. Therefore, evidentiary material purposely or inadvertently contaminated with these reagents can be successfully typed. However, stains exposed to benzidine dissolved in glacial acetic acid, leucomalachite green, and o-tolidine failed to yield high- molecular-weight DNA or to produce any RFLP patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)656-661
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Forensic Sciences
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1991

Keywords

  • RFLP
  • body fluids
  • criminalistics
  • deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
  • identification of blood
  • identification of semen
  • presumptive tests

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