In addition to conservation biological genetic studies, there is a growing need for the verification of the origin of animals and animal products. Sample collection is a serious problem in the case of wild, endangered or stress sensitive species. Non-invasive techniques are required by most of these species (shed hair, feathers, and droppings), while invasive methods (e.g. blood samples) can be applied only occasionally, when the animals are handled because of other reasons (i.e. medical examination, ringing, cleaning the cages). The stress caused by the collection of blood samples can be reduced by using a process designed for taking small amounts of blood for genetic examinations. One of these methods is the use of the IsoCode STIX™ paper. In this study the authors compared two sampling methods (shed feathers vs. IsoCode STIX™) based on the results of DNA extraction, genetic sexing, DNA profiling and mitochondrial DNA sequencing of eastern imperial eagles of the Carpathian basin. In their study they examined the DNA extracted from 687 shed feathers (collected without disturbing the animals) and 127 blood samples collected from Slovakian eagle chicks during the ringing procedure. Both methods proved to be efficient enough to retrieve DNA in adequate quality and quantity for genetic analyses. They found no significant difference between the two types of samples (feather and blood) in the efficiency of DNA extraction (93.6% and 98.4%) and sexing procedures (96.3% and 98.4%). 71.2% of the blood samples yielded a correct DNA-profile, while the results from feathers differed significantly according to the origin of samples. Only 13.6% of the Slovakian feather samples gave a proper DNA-fingerprint, while this ratio was 100% among the Hungarian samples. This difference can most likely be explained by the different storage conditions of feathers. The properly stored Hungarian shed feathers proved to be more usable than the blood samples in the analyses of the mitochondrial DNA sequences (82.6% vs. 29.2%). According to their results, both sampling methods (shed feathers and blood samples collected on special impregnated paper) provide appropriate DNA for genetic examinations, furthermore the sampling is much simpler, and the tests can be performed quickly and precisely, however the efficiency differed according to the type of analyses, the collection method and the storage conditions.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Magyar Allatorvosok Lapja|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 1 2009|
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