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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