Abstract: Species identification through genetic barcoding can augment traditional taxonomic methods, which rely on morphological features of the specimen. Such approaches are especially valuable when specimens are in poor condition or comprise very limited material, a situation that often applies to chiropteran (bat) specimens submitted to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for rabies diagnosis. Coupled with phenotypic plasticity of many species and inconclusive taxonomic keys, species identification using only morphological traits can be challenging. In this study, a microarray assay with associated PCR of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene was developed for differentiation of 14 bat species submitted to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency from 1985–2012 for rabies diagnosis. The assay was validated with a reference collection of DNA from 153 field samples, all of which had been barcoded previously. The COI gene from 152 samples which included multiple specimens of each target species were successfully amplified by PCR and accurately identified by the microarray. One sample that was severely decomposed failed to amplify with PCR primers developed in this study, but amplified weakly after switching to alternate primers and was accurately typed by the microarray. Thus, the chiropteran microarray was able to accurately differentiate between the 14 species of Canadian bats targeted. This PCR and microarray assay would allow unequivocal identification to species of most, if not all, bat specimens submitted for rabies diagnosis in Canada.
Keywords: bats; microarray; rabies; Chiroptera; COI
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Lung, O.; Nadin-Davis, S.; Fisher, M.; Erickson, A.; Knowles, M.K.; Furukawa-Stoffer, T.; Ambagala, A. Microarray for Identification of the Chiropteran Host Species of Rabies Virus in Canada. Microarrays 2013, 2, 153-169.
Lung O, Nadin-Davis S, Fisher M, Erickson A, Knowles MK, Furukawa-Stoffer T, Ambagala A. Microarray for Identification of the Chiropteran Host Species of Rabies Virus in Canada. Microarrays. 2013; 2(2):153-169.
Lung, Oliver; Nadin-Davis, Susan; Fisher, Mathew; Erickson, Anthony; Knowles, M. K.; Furukawa-Stoffer, Tara; Ambagala, Aruna. 2013. "Microarray for Identification of the Chiropteran Host Species of Rabies Virus in Canada." Microarrays 2, no. 2: 153-169.