Marine mammal faeces as a source of DNA

Tikel, D., Blair, D., and Marsh, H.D. (1996) Marine mammal faeces as a source of DNA. Molecular Ecology, 5 (3). pp. 456-457.

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Abstract

[Extract] Remote collection of skin biopsies from free-ranging marine mammals has been to date, the most effective and noninvasive means of tissue collection for DNA studies (Amos & Hoelzel 1990; Brown et al. 1991; Weinrich et al. 1991). Although it has been shown that DNA extraction from faeces is possible (Hoss et al. 1992), there are no records of DNA extraction from the faeces of marine mammals, perhaps because it is expected their faeces have a shorter life span compared with the faeces of (dry) land mammals. We have been able to extract DNA from the faeces of a free-ranging dugong (Dugong dugon).

We present a sequence from this DNA, a region of the mitochondrial DNA which we have used for a genetic population structure study of the dugong. Extraction of DNA from faeces of marine mammals provides an attractive alternative to biopsy sampling. It is less invasive and more economical. The dugong faecal sample was collected from Borroloola (15°8'S 136°7'E) as part of a feeding study (A.R. Preen, pers. comm., 1995). Dugong feeding trails are easily recognizable and their faeces float to the surface of the water. Several intact faeces were collected after floating for an undetermined time (a few hours?) and individually contained in plastic bags. It was about 3h before they were frozen and, although they stayed cold, they were defrosted during a 2 day transit, refrozen, then thawed for DNA extraction.

Item ID: 28128
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1365-294X
Keywords: DNA extraction; marine mammal faeces; dugong; control region sequences; PCR
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2013 23:53
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060499 Genetics not elsewhere classified @ 51%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060399 Evolutionary Biology not elsewhere classified @ 49%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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