Evaluation of saliva as a source of human DNA for population and association studies

Dominique Quinque, Ralf Kittler, Manfred Kayser, Mark Stoneking, Ivan Nasidze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations


A simple noninvasive procedure for saliva sample collection and DNA extraction was developed. On average, the amount of human DNA (as measured by a TaqMan-based assay) was about 11.4 μg/mL saliva, which is more than can be obtained from other noninvasive samples such as cheek swabs. However, the presence of large amounts of nonhuman DNA (up to 90% of the total extracted DNA) in saliva samples does necessitate DNA quantitation methods that are specific for human DNA. We were able to reliably and accurately type different genetic markers (mDNA sequences, Y-chromosomal single-nucleotide polymorphisms, and autosomal microsatellite loci) from saliva samples stored for up to 30 days at 37 °C, making this method well-suited for field conditions and convenient transportation of samples back to the laboratory. Thus, saliva can be considered a reliable source of DNA for a wide variety of genetic studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)272-277
Number of pages6
JournalAnalytical biochemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 15 2006


  • DNA extraction method
  • Saliva
  • Sample collection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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