Entomology, Department of



John E. Foster

Date of this Version



Kneeland, K.M., S.R. Skoda, E. Claassen and J.E. Foster, 2015. A protocol to preserve the integrity of stable fly (Diptera: Muscidae) DNA for long distance shipment. Pak. Entomol., 37(1):1-4.


U.S. government work.


Population genetic studies on a global scale may be hampered by the ability to acquire quality samples from distant countries. Preservation methods must be adequate to prevent samples from decay during shipping, so an adequate quantity of quality DNA can be extracted for analysis, and materials used must not be prohibited by the pertinent Postal Service. We tested a shipping protocol for stable flies which preserves the samples and adheres to Postal regulations. Samples were soaked in 95% ethanol for 6, 12, 24 and 48 hours; the ethanol was then poured off. Samples remained 'dry' for 2, 4, 6 and 8 days to simulate time in transit; ethanol was replaced at the end of each time point. Soaking for 6 hours produced the most DNA when samples were in transit for 2-4 days, but DNA quantity declined abruptly after 4 days. Soaking for 24 hours was more effective than soaking for 12 or 48 hours and was the best protocol for 6-8 days in transit. Results show that samples collected from distant locations (8 days in transit) should be imbibed in 95% ethanol for 24 hours before shipping, but for short distances (< 4 days in transit) samples imbibed for 6 hours produce quality DNA.

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