Genetic testing of animal biological material has become a valuable tool in forensic investigations, and it is successfully used to identify unknown crime perpetrators, to unmask food frauds, or to clarify cases of animal attacks on humans or other animals. When DNA profiling is not possible due to inadequate amounts of nuclear DNA, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) testing is the only viable alternative, as in the case of shed hair samples. In this case, a dog was allegedly killed by wild animals while being hosted in a boarding house. Extraneous hair fragments recovered from the dog’s mouth and paws were subjected to genetic analysis: the cytochrome b gene located on mtDNA was amplified and sequenced in order to determine the species responsible for the killing. The mtDNA analysis provided evidence that the dog was killed by other dogs, thus unmasking a false wild animal attack and putting the case in an entirely different perspective.

Who killed my dog? Use of forensic genetics to investigate an enigmatic case

Roccaro M.;Bini C.;Fais P.;Pelotti S.;Peli A.
2021

Abstract

Genetic testing of animal biological material has become a valuable tool in forensic investigations, and it is successfully used to identify unknown crime perpetrators, to unmask food frauds, or to clarify cases of animal attacks on humans or other animals. When DNA profiling is not possible due to inadequate amounts of nuclear DNA, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) testing is the only viable alternative, as in the case of shed hair samples. In this case, a dog was allegedly killed by wild animals while being hosted in a boarding house. Extraneous hair fragments recovered from the dog’s mouth and paws were subjected to genetic analysis: the cytochrome b gene located on mtDNA was amplified and sequenced in order to determine the species responsible for the killing. The mtDNA analysis provided evidence that the dog was killed by other dogs, thus unmasking a false wild animal attack and putting the case in an entirely different perspective.
Roccaro M.; Bini C.; Fais P.; Merialdi G.; Pelotti S.; Peli A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/807268
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