DNA-based species identification for faecal samples: An application on the mammalian survey in Mountain Huangshan Scenic Spot
Noninvasive methods using genetic markers have been suggested as ways to overcome difficulties associated with documenting the presence of elusive species. We presented and assessed the casework of species identification based on faecal samples of terrestrial mammals in well-known Mountain Huangshan Scenic Spot. By using a pair of universal primer (L2513/H2714), a 220-bp amplicon of mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene was sequenced and blasted in GenBank to search the species match. 162 out of a total number of 383 mammalian faecal samples were amplified and sequenced successfully. A total of 12 different mammalian species were detected consequently, some of which were endangered and listed as the protected species by the state, such as Chinese serow and clouded leopard. Our study shows that the universal primers are suitable for forensic applications on mammal’s molecular identification. Results from molecular identification are the useful supplements for traditional field survey. Considering the sustainable development and ecological balance of resources, some suggestions on conservation and management of mammals distributed in Mountain Huangshan Scenic Spot were demonstrated in this paper.
Key words: Species identification, faecal DNA, 16S rRNA gene, terrestrial mammals.