Lawton, S. 2017. Do Buccal swabs from Zebrafish give enough of a sample of DNA to be used as a viable non-invasive method of genotyping? Animal Technology and Welfare 16(3), 155-164.

The zebrafish has become a valuable research model within the laboratory. Currently the proven method of genotyping involves taking a tail fin clip from the fish to gain the sample. This involves surgically removing a piece of the tail fin under anaesthetic, which gives a large enough sample to be taken from the fish in order to gain adequate DNA to allow for analysis to take place and to gain accurate results. In previous studies buccal swabs have been taken from different species such as humans, mammals and larger species of fish. This involves taking a swab from the inside of the mouth, gathering cells which are used to extract the DNA. Taking a sample using buccal swabs allows the fish to have full normal functions of the fin and therefore incur no stress associated with the removal of part of the fin. When the fish are placed back into communal living none of the associated problems caused by fin damage should take place. This paper describes an SOP for taking buccal swab samples from zebrafish, and tests whether enough DNA is obtained to allow genotyping. The results gained from this project show that enough DNA can be gained to give a positive result using buccal swabs. The results also show that from these findings to gain a result that is of the same strength when compared to tail fin clips using ‘3’ rotations is necessary, although a positive result can be gained from ‘0’ rotations.

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