Research Article

DNA-based identification of forensically important species of Sarcophagidae (Insecta: Diptera) from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Published: May 06, 2016
Genet. Mol. Res. 15(2): gmr7705 DOI: 10.4238/gmr.15027705

Abstract

Sarcophagidae, or flesh flies, are of great importance in forensic entomology, but their effective application requires precise taxonomic identification, which relies almost exclusively on characteristics of the male genitalia. Given that female flies and larvae are most abundant in animal carcasses or on corpses, precise morphological identification can be difficult; therefore, DNA sequencing can be an additional tool for use in taxonomic identification. This paper analyzes part of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene from three Sarcophagidae species of forensic importance in the City of Rio de Janeiro: Oxysarcodexia fluminensis, Peckia chrysostoma, and Peckia intermutans. COI fragments of 400 bp from 36 specimens of these three species were sequenced. No intraspecific differences were found among specimens of O. fluminensis, but P. chrysostoma and P. intermutans each had two haplotypes, ranging from 0 to 0.7%. The interspecific divergence was 8.5-11.6%, corroborating previously reported findings.

Sarcophagidae, or flesh flies, are of great importance in forensic entomology, but their effective application requires precise taxonomic identification, which relies almost exclusively on characteristics of the male genitalia. Given that female flies and larvae are most abundant in animal carcasses or on corpses, precise morphological identification can be difficult; therefore, DNA sequencing can be an additional tool for use in taxonomic identification. This paper analyzes part of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene from three Sarcophagidae species of forensic importance in the City of Rio de Janeiro: Oxysarcodexia fluminensis, Peckia chrysostoma, and Peckia intermutans. COI fragments of 400 bp from 36 specimens of these three species were sequenced. No intraspecific differences were found among specimens of O. fluminensis, but P. chrysostoma and P. intermutans each had two haplotypes, ranging from 0 to 0.7%. The interspecific divergence was 8.5-11.6%, corroborating previously reported findings.