Optimized Protocol for Chelex-based Extraction of DNA from Historical Skeletal Remains and Forensic Trace Samples

Protocol Exchange
Wera M Schmerer

Abstract

PCR-based analysis of skeletonized human remains is a common aspect in both forensic human identification as well as Ancient DNA research. In this, both areas not merely utilize very similar methodology, but also share the same problems regarding quantity and quality of recovered DNA and presence of inhibitory substances in samples from excavated remains. To enable amplification based analysis of the remains, development of optimized DNA extraction procedures is thus a critical factor in both areas.The method paper here presents an optimized protocol for DNA extraction from ancient skeletonized remains using Chelex-100, with improved effectively in yielding amplifiable extracts from sample material excavated after centuries in a soil environment, which consequently have high inhibitor content and overall limited DNA preservation. Further studies showed that the optimized protocol can likewise be utilized for extraction of DNA from common and trace Forensic sample material.

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