DNA typing of Diptera collected from human corpses in Portugal

  • Cainé L
  • Corte Real F
  • Saloña-Bordas M
 et al. 
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Abstract

Medico-legal entomology, one area in the broad field of entomology, is routinely used in forensic applications. Insects are often collected from a corpse during criminal information related to the body, but requires the fast and accurate identification of the species attracted to the remains. The local entomofauna in most cases is important for explaining entomological evidence. The survey of the local entomofauna has become a fundamental first step in forensic entomological studies, because different geographical distributions, seasonal and environmental factors may influence the decomposition process and the occurrence of different species on corpses. A morphological and DNA-based methods for species identification were used in this study. Thirty-two cases are reported from indoors and outdoors conditions. Specimens were collected from corpses during autopsy procedures in the National Institute of Legal Medicine, Portugal, and cases were summarized by sex, death local, month of discovery, probable cause of death, species found and number of analyzed specimens. Just eight species, mainly Calliphoridae together with one Sarcophagidae were reported from corpses. The DNA sequencing was performed to study the mitochondrial encoded subunit I of the cytochrome oxidase gene. The aim of this work was the beginning of a database of the cadaveric entomofauna in Portugal. © 2008 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Cytochrome oxidase I gene
  • Forensic entomology
  • Insects colonization
  • Mitochondrial DNA
  • Portugal

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