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Molecular Analysis of Forensically Important Blow Flies in Thailand

1
Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
2
Institute of Legal Medicine, Forensic Biology/Entomology, Kennedyallee 104, Frankfurt am Main 60596, Germany
3
Department for Forensic Genetics, Institute of Forensic Medicine and Traffic Medicine, Voßstraße 2, Heidelberg 69115, Germany
4
Department of Entomology, Faculty of Agriculture, Kasetsart University, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2018, 9(4), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects9040159
Received: 13 September 2018 / Revised: 5 November 2018 / Accepted: 6 November 2018 / Published: 8 November 2018
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Abstract

Blow flies are the first insect group to colonize on a dead body and thus correct species identification is a crucial step in forensic investigations for estimating the minimum postmortem interval, as developmental times are species-specific. Due to the difficulty of traditional morphology-based identification such as the morphological similarity of closely related species and uncovered taxonomic keys for all developmental stages, DNA-based identification has been increasing in interest, especially in high biodiversity areas such as Thailand. In this study, the effectiveness of long mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I and II (COI and COII) sequences (1247 and 635 bp, respectively) in identifying 16 species of forensically relevant blow flies in Thailand (Chrysomya bezziana, Chrysomya chani, Chrysomya megacephala, Chrysomya nigripes, Chrysomya pinguis, Chrysomya rufifacies, Chrysomya thanomthini, Chrysomya villeneuvi, Lucilia cuprina, Lucilia papuensis, Lucilia porphyrina, Lucilia sinensis, Hemipyrellia ligurriens, Hemipyrellia pulchra, Hypopygiopsis infumata, and Hypopygiopsis tumrasvini) was assessed using distance-based (Kimura two-parameter distances based on Best Match, Best Close Match, and All Species Barcodes criteria) and tree-based (grouping taxa by sequence similarity in the neighbor-joining tree) methods. Analyses of the obtained sequence data demonstrated that COI and COII genes were effective markers for accurate species identification of the Thai blow flies. This study has not only demonstrated the genetic diversity of Thai blow flies, but also provided a reliable DNA reference database for further use in forensic entomology within the country and other regions where these species exist. View Full-Text
Keywords: forensic entomology; molecular identification; COI; COII; blow flies; Thailand forensic entomology; molecular identification; COI; COII; blow flies; Thailand
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Sontigun, N.; Sukontason, K.L.; Amendt, J.; Zajac, B.K.; Zehner, R.; Sukontason, K.; Chareonviriyaphap, T.; Wannasan, A. Molecular Analysis of Forensically Important Blow Flies in Thailand. Insects 2018, 9, 159.

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