Capitella

Geoff Read g.read at niwa.cri.nz
Sun Oct 17 19:55:46 EST 1999


This recent paper might indicate an opportunity to the more technologically 
skilled of us, if the last sentence in the abstract is  any guide.   

Townson, H., R. E. Harbach, & T. A. Callan. 1999. DNA identification of 
museum specimens of the Anopheles gambiae complex: an evaluation of 
PCR as a tool for resolving the formal taxonomy of sibling species 
complexes.— Systematic Entomology [Syst. Entomol.], 24(1):95-100.   

Abstract: "Species-specific rDNA primers were tested for their ability to 
identify museum specimens of the Anopheles gambiae complex ranging in 
age from 15 to 93 years. Twenty pinned females of known or inferred 
identity were selected for study from the collection of The Natural History 
Museum in London, primarily on grounds of their provenance and/or 
presumed identity. The abdomens were removed and provided 'blind' to the 
first author for identification. Most of the specimens (17/20) yielded 
amplifiable DNA and sixteen were identified to species, fifteen 
unambiguously. The PCR identifications of twelve specimens matched 
identifications on museum labels, including seven of unambiguous identity. 
One of the specimens identified correctly was a 93-year-old syntype of An. 
gambiae. This study demonstrates that PCR-based methods, by 
establishing the genetic identity of name-bearing type specimens in 
museum collections, may help in the application of available names to  
members of sibling  species complexes."   

--
  Geoff Read <g.read at niwa.cri.nz>


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