DNA is a relatively stable polymer, and that one of the main reasons why DNA technology is more and more used for forensic purposes. It is also employed to detect plant pathogens with a quarantine status. Some pathogen species have specific life stages for the survival of adverse conditions ( DNA is well-protected), and particularly for these ones it could happen that a positive DNA signal is actually derived from a dead individual.
Potato cyst nematodes, Globodera rostochiensis and G. pallida, are quarantine organisms. Van den Elsen and co-workers developed a method that allows for a rapid and cheap determination of vitality of cysts that can easily be combined with a DNA-based species determination.