Human mitochondrial DNA and nuclear DNA isolation from food bite marks

Sara C. Zapico, Sofía T. Menéndez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective Bite mark analysis is used for comparison between bite marks on a bitten object and the suspects' teeth. However, if it is not possible to obtain a correct match, it is important to recover salivary DNA. Previous studies have tried to isolate human nuclear DNA from bitten foods but were not completely successful. In the present work, we studied the efficiency of human nuclear and mitochondrial DNA isolation from bite marks in cheese, a donut and an apple. Design Using a double swab technique and silica-based DNA extraction kit, nuclear and mitochondrial DNA were isolated. Human housekeeping genes were amplified to analyse the efficiency of nuclear DNA profiling. mtDNA was sequencing and haplogroup assign. Results Although cheese and apple samples showed the highest concentration of DNA, the purity of DNA on the apple was low. Moreover, apple samples failed to amplify the two human housekeeping genes, GAPDH and RPL22. In contrast, cheese samples have high purity and amplification efficiency. Donut samples showed an intermediate value and low amplification efficiency. In spite of these results, isolation and characterization/sequencing of human mitochondrial DNA was completely successful in the three samples, which pointed out the possibility of identification through this type of DNA. Conclusions This research indicated that it is possible to recover and isolate human nuclear and mitochondrial DNA from bitten foods, although the quantity and purity of nuclear DNA depends on the type of food. That is of significance important in forensic sciences for the correct identification of a suspect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-72
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Oral Biology
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • General Dentistry
  • Cell Biology


  • Food bite marks
  • Haplogroup
  • Human nuclear DNA isolation
  • PCR efficiency
  • Sequencing
  • mtDNA


Dive into the research topics of 'Human mitochondrial DNA and nuclear DNA isolation from food bite marks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this