Date of Submission


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Forensic Science


Forensic Science


Heather Coyle

Committee Member

David San Pietro




Morinda citrifolia, Forensic genetics


Regulation standards for dietary supplements lack greatly. Due to this, fraud during the manufacturing of these products might be committed. Previous investigations on herbal dietary supplements have shown that the main ingredient was not present in most of the herbal supplements tested and that these products also contained other substances not stated in the label The purpose of this study was to develop a fluorescent qPCR assay for the identification of Morinda citrifolia herbal species in dietary supplements. Primers for genetic regions rbcL and matK of M. citrifolia were designed. The potential of novel matK primer showed discrimination potential of species during qPCR analysis. Results for matK amplified samples were verified through DNA Sanger sequencing using the 3730 XL Genetic Analyzer and searched using the BLAST search engine. Sequencing results showed M. citrifolia DNA, proving the discriminatory value of matK designed primer. Spectroscopy analysis for the identification of herbal species in dietary supplements was assessed. The details of the analysis and identification of DNA product brands is described within the study. The presence of bioactive compounds damnacanthal and kaempferol, present in M. citrifolia, were analyzed using FTIR and UV-VIS. Results showed that the extracted samples were not pure enough or were masked by the solvent used, which obstructed the use of spectroscopy for means of confirmation of those compounds.


Committee Members: David San Pietro,

Syed Ahmad Chan Bukhari