Forensic study of sex determination using PCR on teeth samples

Hiroki Murakami, Yuji Yamamoto, Kei Yoshitome, Toshiaki Ono, Osamu Okamoto, Yoshiaki Shigeta, Yusuke Doi, Satoru Miyaishi, Hideo Ishizu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, sex determination using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on tooth material was evaluated from the viewpoint of forensic medicine. The sensitivity of PCR for detection of the Y chromosome-specific alphoid repeat sequence and the X chromosome-specific alphoid repeat sequence was 0.5 pg of genomic DNA. Sex could be determined by PCR of DNA extracted from the pulp of 16 freshly extracted permanent teeth and dentine including the surface of the pulp cavity of 6 freshly extracted milk teeth. Sex could be determined using the pulp in all 20 teeth (10 male and 10 female) preserved at room temperature for 22 years. For the pulp of teeth stored in sea water, the sex could be determined in all 8 teeth immersed for 1 week and in 5 of 6 teeth immersed for 4 weeks. In the remaining 1 tooth, in which sex determination based on the pulp failed, the sex could be determined correctly when DNA extracted from the tooth hard tissue was examined. For teeth stored in soil, the sex could be determined accurately in all 8 teeth buried for 1 week, 7 of 8 teeth buried for 4 weeks, and in all 6 teeth buried for 8 weeks. When teeth were heated for 30 min, sex determination from the pulp was possible in all teeth heated to 100, 150, and 200°C, and even in some teeth heated to 250°C. When this method was applied to actual forensic cases, the sex of a mummified body estimated to have been discovered half a year to 1 year after death could be determined readily by examination of the dental pulp. In the skeletons of 2 bodies placed under water for approximately 1 year and approximately 11 years and 7 months, pulp tissues had been dissolved and lost, but sex determination was possible using DNA extracted from hard dental tissues. These results indicate that this method is useful in forensic practices for sex determination based on teeth samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-32
Number of pages12
JournalActa medica Okayama
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2000


  • Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
  • Personal identification
  • Polymerase chain reaction
  • Sex determination
  • Tooth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Forensic study of sex determination using PCR on teeth samples'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this