Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Thar she blows! Novel method for collecting dolphin DNA

Date:
August 26, 2010
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
A team of scientists has announced it is the first to extract DNA from dolphin blow (breath exhalations). The researchers found that blow-sampling, which involves collecting exhalations from the blowholes of whales, dolphins and porpoises, could be developed as a less invasive method for DNA collection.

New research has found that blow-sampling, which involves collecting exhalations from the blowholes of whales, dolphins and porpoises, could be developed as a less invasive method for DNA collection.
Credit: iStockphoto/Dmitriy Filippov

Scientists at Georgetown University, the National Aquarium and the University of Queensland are the first to extract DNA from dolphin blow (breath exhalations). The researchers found that blow-sampling, which involves collecting exhalations from the blowholes of whales, dolphins and porpoises, could be developed as a less invasive method for DNA collection.

Related Articles


Their findings are explained in the Aug. 25 edition of the online journal PLoS ONE.

Scientists currently biopsy animals by using a small piece of tissue taken from a dart gun to get DNA from wild dolphins and whales for use in research projects.

"Dart biopsying is considered inappropriate for very young animals and the technique requires considerable skill to avoid injuring the animals," says Janet Mann, a senior author on the paper and a professor of biology and psychology at Georgetown. "Thus identifying alternative genetic collection techniques for cetaceans remains a priority, especially for internationally protected species."

At the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Md., blow and blood samples were collected between March and May 2010 from six bottlenose dolphins. A test tube was held inverted over the dolphin's blowhole as they were trained to exhale on cue. A control sample of seawater was taken along with each blow sample set to ensure that any DNA results were from blow samples and not seawater contamination. The blood was collected as part of routine medical examinations for the dolphins.

To estimate whether DNA profiles from the blow and blood samples matched, the scientists amplified 3 polymorphic dinucleotide microsatellite loci for each sample. To estimate whether mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) also matched, the scientists amplified a 426 base-pair fragment of the maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA control region. For all samples, blow and blood showed a perfect match for each individual animal. The scientists were therefore able to show that DNA can be successfully extracted from dolphin blow.

The authors are currently applying their method to a wild population of bottlenose dolphins in Western Australia's Shark Bay that they have studied for more than two decades.

"Both biopsy and blow-sampling require close proximity of the boat, but blow-sampling can be achieved when dolphins voluntarily bow-ride, and it involves no harmful contact," says Mann. "While we recognize the important role played by dart-biopsying, we have provided evidence that blow-sampling is a viable and less invasive mode of DNA collection."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Frere CH, Krzyszczyk E, Patterson EM, Hunter S, Ginsburg A, et al. Thar She Blows! A Novel Method for DNA Collection from Cetacean Blow. PLoS ONE, 2010; 5 (8): e12299 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012299

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Thar she blows! Novel method for collecting dolphin DNA." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100825174108.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2010, August 26). Thar she blows! Novel method for collecting dolphin DNA. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100825174108.htm
Public Library of Science. "Thar she blows! Novel method for collecting dolphin DNA." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100825174108.htm (accessed April 18, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 17, 2015) A truck carrying honey bees overturns near Lynnwood, Washington, spreading boxes of live bees across the highway. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Dog flu is spreading in several Midwestern states. Dog daycare centers and veterinary offices are taking precautions. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers from the E/V Nautilus had quite a surprise Tuesday, when a curious sperm whale swam around their remotely operated vehicle in the Gulf of Mexico. Cameras captured the encounter. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins