Forensic botany

Subbaiah C. Chalivendra subbaiah at UIUC.EDU
Wed Sep 15 20:15:57 EST 1999

Marta D. de Jesus wrote:

>The case I remember hearing about was in Arizona.  A truck (belonging to
>a suspect) needed to be tied to the crime scene.  At the crime scene was
>a Paloverde tree.  Paloverde seeds were found in the bed of the truck
>and were DNA-fingerprinted.  In addition, some large number of local
>Paloverde trees including the one at the crime scene had their seeds
>DNA-fingerprinted.  The scientists were able to determine that the seeds
>in the truck matched only the ones from the tree at the crime scene, so
>the truck at least had been under that tree recently.  I think I saw
>that one of the standard 1st  year Biology majors' texts devotes a whole
>page to this story, but I don't recall which one.

The story appeared on the Discovery channel. The scientist involved 
in the DNA analysis was Dr. Tim Helentjaris who was at that time in 
Tucson (University of Arizona). Dr. Helentjaris works presently at 
the Pioneer Hi-Bred now.


Subbaiah Chalivendra
S-27 Turner Hall
Dept. Crop Sciences, 1102 S. Goodwin Ave
University of Illinois
Urbana, IL 61801-4730

Phone: 217 333-9743

Fax:   217 333-6064

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