The aim of this study was to assess the effect of various environmental factors on the preservation of pulp tissue in primary teeth as a source of DNA and its use for sex determination using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). 120 samples were grouped into 4 groups of 30 teeth each. Group I samples were kept immersed in a bucket of drainage water, group II, III and IV samples were buried in sand taken from seashore, burial ground and desert, respectively for a period of 2 months. Pulp tissue was collected from each sample and DNA was isolated. PCR amplification was performed and sex determination was done by detection of X and Y chromosome-specific alphoid centromeric repeat sequences. In group I, 86% of the samples exhibited correct gender interpretation by PCR amplification. In groups II, III, and IV, all the samples showed correct results indicating a significant difference in scores between group I and the remaining three groups. Teeth stored in dry conditions can serve as a better source of DNA as compared to the teeth stored in moist conditions and o-amplification of both X and Y specific sequences by PCR is a fast, specific, sensitive and reliable method providing sex determination
Key words: DNA, gender, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), forensic
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