Great Basin Naturalist


We have adapted techniques developed for the extraction of DNA from formalin-fixed, paraffin-imbedded human tissues for use on preserved fish tissues. DNA was successfully extracted and the d-loop region of mitochondrial DNA was amplified with the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The sequences of the amplified DNA from preserved and modern samples were identical. These techniques were also applied to fin tissue treated with a variety of preservatives. Extraction of DNA from ethyl alcohol and air-dried fin tissues gave yields equivalent to those from frozen tissues. Extraction of DNA from preserved museum specimens of rare or extinct taxa could significantly increase the scope of systematic and phylogenetic studies. Similarly, extraction of DNA from fin tissues provides a nonlethal sampling strategy allowing biochemical systematic analyses of rare or endangered taxa.