The barcoding of life initiative provides a universal molecular tool to distinguish animal species based on the amplification and sequencing of a fragment of the subunit 1 of the cytochrome oxidase (COI) gene. Obtaining good quality DNA for barcoding purposes is a limiting factor, especially in studies conducted on small-sized samples or those requiring the maintenance of the organism as a voucher. In this study, we compared the number of positive amplifications and the quality of the sequences obtained using DNA extraction methods that also differ in their economic costs and time requirements and we applied them for the genetic characterization of louse flies. Four DNA extraction methods were studied: chloroform/isoamyl alcohol, HotShot procedure, Qiagen DNeasy® Tissue and Blood Kit and DNA Kit Maxwell® 16LEV. All the louse flies were morphologically identified as Ornithophila gestroi and a single COI-based haplotype was identified. The number of positive amplifications did not differ significantly among DNA extraction procedures. However, the quality of the sequences was significantly lower for the case of the chloroform/isoamyl alcohol procedure with respect to the rest of methods tested here. These results may be useful for the genetic characterization of louse flies, leaving most of the remaining insect as a voucher.
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Vol. 40 • No. 1