Biotechnological efforts for preserving and enhancing temperate hardwood tree biodiversity, health, and productivity
Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis of botanical forensic evidence provides a means of obtaining a reproducible DNA profile in a relatively short period of time in species for which no sequence information is available. AFLP profiles were obtained for 40 Acer rubrum trees. Leaf material from five additional species was also typed. Genomic DNA was isolated using the DNeasy Plant Miniprep Kit (Qiagen, Valencia, CA), double-digested by two restriction endonucleases (EcoRI and MseI) and ligated to oligonucleotide adapters. Two consecutive PCR reactions (pre-amplification and selective amplification) were performed using a modification of the AFLP protocol described by Gibco (Invitrogen, Rockville, MD). The DNA fragments were separated by capillary electrophoresis using the CEQ 8000 DNA Fragment Analyzer. A number of Acer rubrum species-specific peaks were identified. In addition, within this closed set of samples, 15 of 16 (93.8%) blind samples were correctly identified. AFLP data can be used to determine the species of botanical evidence or to associate a sample to a source. This information can be used in forensic investigations to link a piece of evidence with a particular location or suspect.