The alleged illegal killing of mammals is a cause for forensic investigation. Species identification is performed routinely by the amplification of part of a conserved gene followed by direct sequencing of the DNA fragment  H.M. Hsieh, H.L. Chiang, L.C. Tsai, S.Y. Lai, N.E. Huang, A. Linacre and J.C.I. Lee, Cytochrome b gene for species identification of the conservation animals. Forensic Sci. Int., 122 (2001), pp. 7–18. Article | PDF (319 K) | | View Record in Scopus | | Cited By in Scopus (56), ,  and . Comparison of the DNA sequence from the unknown species to those registered on GenBank or EMBL allows for the identification of the species. The gene sequences most commonly used are those on the mitochondrial genome and include the cytochrome b gene, 12S and 16S ribosomal RNA genes . Due to a high degree of conservation of DNA sequence between mammalian species universal primers can be designed that will amplify sections of these genes . The inter-species variation occurs within the DNA sequences rather than the length of the gene and therefore amplification of sections of these genes produces similar sized products for all the mammalian species and only by directly sequencing the amplification product can the sample be assigned to a particular species.
- biological materials
- species identification