Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Crime Scene Investigates: The Case Of The Dead Cow

Date:
April 7, 2006
Source:
Society for Experimental Biology
Summary:
Forensic fingerprinting of plant DNA is being investigated as a way to identify offending poisonous plants -- a major cause of death in livestock in countries such as Ghana.

A typical Ghanaian peasant livestock farmer providing information on Cleome viscosa in his left hand, known to be poisonous to livestock and Cleome gynandra in his right hand, which is not poisonous but used as a vegetable among the indigenous people.
Credit: Photo Charles Domozoro

Forensic fingerprinting of plant DNA is being investigated as a way to identify offending poisonous plants -- a major cause of death in livestock in countries such as Ghana.

Charles Domozoro, of the University of Aberdeen, described how he uses plant DNA from the animal's stomach for forensic fingerprinting recently at the Society for Experimental Biology's Annual Main Meeting, in Canterbury. "Knowing the offending plants will help us to manage the poisoning outbreak by targeting specific treatment routines or withdrawing livestock from infested pastures", says Domozoro.

Since the identifying features of plants are rapidly digested in the stomach of herbivores it is often difficult to tell if and how an animal has been poisoned. Such misdiagnoses are costly to the agricultural industry and also mean that statistics on how widespread is poisoning are inaccurate. The practical application of this technique means that when a cow or sheep dies, if a sample of the rumen contents is taken within a day, it can be stored or used immediately to determine if plant poisoning was the cause of death.

Domozoro uses plant material, extracted from Ghanaian animals within 24 hours of death, as the template to amplify specific DNA sequences to give a plant-fingerprint: this is specific to the species of plant present in the animal's rumen. Domozoro has affiliations with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Ghana and so the first database he has used to search for a match consists of the known DNA sequences of ~40 poisonous Ghanaian plant species. This only represents a fraction of the known poisonous plants in Ghana and there is a need to keep expanding the database. The technique could be used to identify poisonous plants from any country as long as their DNA sequence is known: "The procedure can be applied anywhere, but the reference database will need to be carefully selected to include the geographical range", explains Domozoro.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Experimental Biology. "Crime Scene Investigates: The Case Of The Dead Cow." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060406102755.htm>.
Society for Experimental Biology. (2006, April 7). Crime Scene Investigates: The Case Of The Dead Cow. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060406102755.htm
Society for Experimental Biology. "Crime Scene Investigates: The Case Of The Dead Cow." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060406102755.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins