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A new cost‐effective and fast direct PCR protocol for insects based on PBS buffer

Thongjued, Kantima, Chotigeat, Wilaiwan, Bumrungsri, Sara, Thanakiatkrai, Phuvadol, Kitpipit, Thitika
Molecular ecology resources 2019 v.19 no.3 pp. 691-701
Blattodea, Chiroptera, Coleoptera, DNA, DNA barcoding, Diptera, Hemiptera, Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera, Mantodea, Neuroptera, Odonata, Orthoptera, Phasmida, animal manures, biodiversity, cost effectiveness, insect taxonomy, insects, polymerase chain reaction, species identification, tissues
Insect DNA barcoding is a species identification technique used in biodiversity assessment and ecological studies. However, DNA extraction can result in the loss of up to 70% of DNA. Recent research has reported that direct PCR can overcome this issue. However, the success rates could still be improved, and tissues used for direct PCR could not be reused for further genetic studies. Here, we developed a direct PCR workflow that incorporates a 2‐min sample preparation in PBS‐buffer step for fast and effective universal insect species identification. The developed protocol achieved 100% success rates for amplification in six orders: Mantodea, Phasmatodea, Neuroptera, Odonata, Blattodea and Orthoptera. High and moderate success rates were obtained for five other species: Lepidoptera (97.3%), Coleoptera (93.8%), Diptera (90.5%), Hemiptera (81.8%) and Hymenoptera (75.0%). High‐quality sequencing data were also obtained from these amplifiable products, allowing confidence in species identification. The method was sensitive down to 1/4th of a 1‐mm fragment of leg or body and its success rates with oven‐dried, ethanol‐preserved, food, bat guano and museum specimens were 100%, 98.6%, 90.0%, 84.0% and 30.0%, respectively. In addition, the pre‐PCR solution (PBS with insect tissues) could be used for further DNA extraction if needed. The workflow will be beneficial in the fields of insect taxonomy and ecological studies due to its low cost, simplicity and applicability to highly degraded specimens.