Sex identification from DNA in old teeth

Masatugu Yoshida, Manabu Suno, Masaru Asari, Kento Ogawa, Toshio Awaya, Keiko Shimizu, Kazuo Matsubara, Shinnichi Kita, Hiroshi Shiono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The sex determination was carried out on 80 fresh and 15 old teeth by amplifying sex chromosome specific sequences with the polymerase chain reaction. The DNA content in the tooth significantly decreases with aging. There was no correlation between days after evulsion and the amounts of DNA extracted from fresh teeth that had been preserved less than 186 days. The sex determination based on fresh teeth was successful using multi locus markers, DYZ-1 and DYZ-3 in combination with DXZ-1. However, amelogenin and pseudoautosomal boundary, both that are single locus markers and specific for both sex chromosomes with different lengths, could not be detected in three samples, of which DNA contents were extremely low. However, the sex determination by amelogenin amplified with fluorescent probes was possible in these three samples. We also determined sexes of 30 old specimens (15 teeth and 15 bones) from 15 human skulls using sex chromosomes locus markers. Prior to molecular sex determination, two forensic specialists determined the sex of the skull morphologically. From the 15 skulls, sex identification using multi locus marker (DYZ-1 or DYZ-3) was possible for 12 of 15 teeth and 7 of 15 bones. The sex was successfully determined from 11 teeth and 9 bones by amplification of the amelogenin locus. However, the coincidence rate of the molecular test with morphological examination was < 20%. In conclusion, sex determination on the fresh tooth would be successful using any sex chromosome marker. However, in cases on samples that have spent considerable years in the ground, pollution and putrefaction, especially, by humicolous, must be considered. Thus, sex determination by DNA testing should be regarded as accurate, when the results from two or more molecular markers are coincident.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-199
Number of pages9
JournalHokkaido Journal of Medical Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone
  • DNA
  • Forensic medicine
  • Sex identification
  • Tooth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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