Combined morphological and molecular analysis of individual nematodes through short-term preservation in formalin

Small metazoans such as marine nematodes are increasingly identified using both molecular and morphological techniques. Formalin is the preferred fixative for morphological analysis but specimens become unsuitable for molecular study due to formalin-induced modification of DNA. Nematodes fixed in ethanol work well for molecular studies but become unsuitable for taxonomy due to shrinkage. Here we show for the first time that formalin can be used as a short-term fixative (≤ 7 days) for marine nematodes, allowing both morphological and molecular work to be conducted on the same individual. No sequence ambiguities were detected in polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplifications of 18S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) following short-term formalin preservation.


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Authors: Bhadury, P., Austen, M.C., Bilton, D.T., Lambshead, P.J.D., Rogers, A.D., Smerdon, G.R.

1 January, 2005
Molecular Ecology Notes / 5
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