The Extraction of Bovine DNA From Dermestid Beetles


Deoxyribose nucleic acid, or DNA, is the genetic material that serves as a template for constructing proteins. DNA has been a key factor in forensic investigations. It is used to determine the source of biological samples and identify unknown corpses Decomposition is the process by which organic material is broken down over a period of time. Dermestid beetles are scavengers that consume flesh and are commonly found in the late stages of decomposition. This study seeks to determine whether foreign DNA can be extracted from dermestid beetles in quantities high enough to perform a DNA profile. Dermestid beetles were placed in a tank with a cut of steak for two weeks. Later they were removed and DNA extraction using a QIAmp DNA investigator extraction kit. After DNA extraction, purification and quantification was conducted. Realtime PCR was used to quantify the amount of DNA. The results showed that more than 0.5 nanograms per microliter of bovine DNA was successfully extracted from the beetles. Extracting 0.5 nanograms per microliter of DNA allows for a DNA profile to be conducted without allele dropout. This means that sufficient DNA can be extracted from dermestid. Therefore, it is possible to become less reliant on using skeletal remains to identify corpses.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 5-4-2020


Jamie D. Fredericks

Mentor Professional Affiliation

Department of Chemistry

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars



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