PCR-based typing of DNA extracted from cigarette butts

M. N. Hochmeister, R. Dirnhofer, U. V. Borer, B. Budowle, J. Jung, C. T. Comey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Limited genetic marker information can be obtained from saliva by typing by conventional serological means. Thus, the application of PCR-based DNA typing methods was investigated as a potential approach for typing genetic markers in saliva. DNA was isolated from 200 cigarettes smoked by 10 different individuals (20 cigarettes per individual) and from 3 cigarette butts recovered from 2 crime scenes (adjudicated cases) using a Chelex 100 extraction procedure. The amount of recovered human DNA was quantified by slot-blot analysis and ranged from approximately < 2-160 ng DNA per cigarette butt for the 200 samples, and 8 ng, 50 ng, and 100 ng for the cigarette butts from the adjudicated cases. The DNA was successfully amplified by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the HLA-DQ alpha locus (99 out of 100 samples) as well as for the variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR) locus D1S80 (99 out of 100 samples). Amplification and typing of DNA was successful on all samples recovered from the crime scenes. The results suggest that PCR-based typing of DNA offers a potential method for genetically characterizing traces of saliva on cigarette butts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-233
Number of pages5
JournalInternational journal of legal medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1991


  • Cigarette butts
  • D1S80 (pMCT118)
  • DNA
  • HLA-DQ alpha
  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
  • Saliva
  • human identification


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