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 December 21, 2014 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 December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
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