Original ArticleDNA Analysis of Digested Tomato Seeds in Stomach ContentsLee, Cheng-Lung*†; Coyle, Heather Miller‡; Carita, Eric§; Ladd, Carll§; Yang, Nicholas C.S.§; Palmbach, Timothy M.‡; Hsu, Ian C.*; Lee, Henry C. PhD‡§Author Information From the *Nuclear Science Department, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan, ROC; †Criminal Investigation Department, Hsinchu Municipal Police Bureau, Hsinchu, Taiwan, ROC; ‡Forensic Science Program, University of New Haven, West Haven, Connecticut; and the §Division of Scientific Services, Department of Public Safety, 278 Colony Street, Meriden, Connecticut. Manuscript received March 23, 2005; accepted April 5, 2005. Sources of scholarship support: National Science Council, ROC #NSC92-2917-1-007-004; National Institute of Justice #2001-IJ-CX-K011. No human or animal studies were performed without appropriate consent. Reprints: Henry C. Lee, PhD, Division of Scientific Services, Department of Public Safety, 278 Colony Street, Meriden, CT 06451. E-mail c/o Ms. Valerie Shook: [email protected]. The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: June 2006 - Volume 27 - Issue 2 - p 121-125 doi: 10.1097/01.paf.0000202722.21167.47 Buy Metrics Abstract Examination of stomach contents is one of the important steps in medical legal autopsy. Vegetative materials such as stems, roots, and seeds in stomach contents can be valuable evidence for providing investigative leads in death investigation. Currently, the identification of plant materials relies on microscopic and morphologic examination. We have found that many seeds are often protected from acid degradation during stomach digestion by their tough exterior seed coat. Tomato seeds were selected as a model system to assess DNA analysis and plant variety marker identification. The DNA-amplified fragment length polymorphism method was performed to determine if the DNA obtained from single seeds could be used for PCR analysis. From the amplified fragment length polymorphism results, some candidate markers for individualizing seeds from morphologically distinct tomatoes were identified. These data on DNA analysis of tomato seeds indicate amplified fragment length polymorphism is a viable procedure for the individualization of seeds from stomach contents in forensic investigations. © 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.