Comprehensive evaluation of DNA barcoding for the molecular species identification of forensically important Australian Sarcophagidae (Diptera)

Meiklejohn, Kelly, Wallman, James F., Cameron, Stephen L., & Dowton, Mark (2012) Comprehensive evaluation of DNA barcoding for the molecular species identification of forensically important Australian Sarcophagidae (Diptera). Invertebrate Systematics, 26(6), pp. 515-525.

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Carrion-breeding Sarcophagidae (Diptera) can be used to estimate the post-mortem interval (PMI) in forensic cases. Difficulties with accurate morphological identifications at any life stage and a lack of documented thermobiological profiles have limited their current usefulness of these flies. The molecular-based approach of DNA barcoding, which utilises a 648-bp fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene, was previously evaluated in a pilot study for the discrimination between 16 Australian sarcophagids. The current study comprehensively evaluated DNA barcoding on a larger taxon set of 588 adult Australian sarcophagids. A total of 39 of the 84 known Australian species were represented by 580 specimens, which includes 92% of potentially forensically important species. A further eight specimens could not be reliably identified, but included as six unidentifable taxa. A neighbour-joining phylogenetic tree was generated and nucleotide sequence divergences were calculated using the Kimura-two-parameter distance model. All species except Sarcophaga (Fergusonimyia) bancroftorum, known for high morphological variability, were resolved as reciprocally monophyletic (99.2% of cases), with most having bootstrap support of 100. Excluding S. bancroftorum, the mean intraspecific and interspecific variation ranged from 0.00-1.12% and 2.81-11.23%, respectively, allowing for species discrimination. DNA barcoding was therefore validated as a suitable method for the molecular identification of the Australian Sarcophagidae, which will aid in the implementation of this fauna in forensic entomology.

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ID Code: 57880
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1071/IS12008
ISSN: 1447-2600 (online) 1445-5226 (print)
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (060000) > EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY (060300) > Animal Systematics and Taxonomy (060301)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Please consult the author.
Copyright Statement: - author can archive pre-print (ie pre-refereeing)
- author can archive post-print (ie final draft post-refereeing)
Deposited On: 06 Mar 2013 22:13
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2013 04:46

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