Museum collections have been widely used as sources of biological samples for molecular biology studies and there are several methodologies and techniques to obtain and analyze DNA from tissues archived in museums, but most of these protocols have been developed for a specific tissue or are commercial kits.Wepresent a simple protocol for extracting and amplifyingDNAsegments from sloth museum specimens. With this simple protocol we analyzedDNA fragments from 64% of 64 skin samples from three-toed sloths ( and )ar- chived in three different museums: 43 samples from the University of São Paulo Museum of Zoology (Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo, MUZUSP) São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; 18 samples from the Emílio Goeldi Bradypus variegatus Bradypus tridactylus Museum (Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, MPEG), Belém, Pará, Brazil; and 3 samples from the Museum of Verte- brate Zoology (MVZ) University of California, Berkeley, USA. The specimens sampled ranged in age from 18 to 108 years old. Our methodology allowed the recovery of up to 700 bp of mitochondrial DNA and 400 bp of nuclear genes. Thereafter, it is useful for genetic diversity studies of three-toed sloths and could be applied to other animals.
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