Factors affecting mitochondrial DNA quality from museum preserved Drosophila simulans

Authors

  • Matthew D. Dean,

    1. Division of Insects, The Field Museum, 1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605-2496, USA
    2. Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois, Chicago, 845 W. Taylor St.M/C 066, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
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  • J. William O. Ballard

    1. Division of Insects, The Field Museum, 1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605-2496, USA
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Abstract

In this study we investigate how traditional killing methods and storage regimes affected mitochondrial DNA quality in Drosophila simulans. Here we define quality with three criteria: (1) size of extracted DNA, (2) extraction yield, and (3) ability to amplify from four target regions. Killing methods had a significant effect on extraction yield, but not on PCR success. Highest DNA yields were extracted from specimens exposed to cyanide, while the lowest were from specimens killed in 70% ethanol. Specimens stored for two years contained badly sheared DNA, which translated into a significant decrease in PCR success compared to freshly assayed specimens. The most dramatic decrease in PCR success occurred in the 1822 bp and 1332 bp amplicons, compared to the 959 bp and 291 bp fragments. Naphthalene did not affect any aspect of DNA quality; time of storage affected PCR success regardless of naphthalene environment. This study serves to further refine our understanding of DNA degradation.

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