Validation of swabs as a non-destructive and relatively non-invasive DNA sampling method in fish


B. K. Mable, Fax: +44 (0)141 330 5971;


Non-destructive methods of collecting DNA from small fish species can be problematic, as fin clips can potentially affect behaviour or survivorship in the wild. Swabbing body mucus may provide a less invasive method of DNA collection. However, risk of contamination from other individuals in high density groups could give erroneous genotyping results. We compared multilocus microsatellite genotypes from the same individuals when collected at low and high density and compared this with fin clips. We found no differences between these categories, with a genotyping error rate of 0.42%, validating the use of body mucus swabbing for DNA collection in fish.