Estimation of postmortem interval (PMI) is paramount in modern forensic investigation. After the disappearance of the early postmortem phenomena conventionally used to estimate PMI, entomologic evidence provides important indicators for PMI estimation. The age of the oldest fly larvae or pupae can be estimated to pinpoint the time of oviposition, which is considered the minimum PMI (PMImin). The development rate of insects is usually temperature dependent and species specific. Therefore, species identification is mandatory for PMImin estimation using entomological evidence. The classical morphological identification method cannot be applied when specimens are damaged or have not yet matured. To overcome this limitation, some investigators employ molecular identification using mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) nucleotide sequences. The molecular identification method commonly uses Sanger's nucleotide sequencing and molecular phylogeny, which are complex and time consuming and constitute another obstacle for forensic investigators. In this study, instead of using conventional Sanger's nucleotide sequencing, single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the COI gene region, which are unique between fly species, were selected and targeted for single-base extension (SBE) technology. These SNPs were genotyped using a SNaPshot® kit. Eleven Calliphoridae and seven Sarcophagidae species were covered. To validate this genotyping, fly DNA samples (103 adults, 84 larvae, and 4 pupae) previously confirmed by DNA barcoding were used. This method worked quickly with minimal DNA, providing a potential alternative to conventional DNA barcoding. Consisting of only a few simple electropherogram peaks, the results were more straightforward compared with those of the conventional DNA barcoding produced by Sanger's nucleotide sequencing.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)