Publication Details

Meiklejohn, K. A., Wallman, J. F. & Dowton, M. (2013). DNA barcoding identifies all immature life stages of a forensically important flesh fly (Diptera: Sarcophagidae). Journal of Forensic Sciences, 58 (1), 184-187.


Carrion-breeding insects, such as flesh flies (Diptera: Sarcophagidae), can be used as evidence in forensic investigations. Despite their considerable forensic potential, their use has been limited because morphological species identification, at any life stage, is very challenging. This study investigated whether DNA could be extracted and cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) barcode sequences obtained for molecular identification of each immature life stage of the forensically important Australian flesh fly, Sarcophaga (Sarcorohdendorfia) impatiens (Walker). Genomic DNA extracts were prepared from all larval instars and puparia. Amplification of the barcoding region was successful from all extracts, but puparia amplicons were weak. All sequences were identified as S. impatiens with 99.95% confidence using the Barcoding of Life Database (BOLD). Importantly, crop removal was necessary to eliminate PCR inhibition for specimens from late second and early third instars. Similar results are expected for immatures of other carrion-breeding species, enhancing the use of evidence from immature flies in forensic investigations.



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