DNA database to combat poaching?
Saturday, 30th September 2017
‘ForCyt’ DNA database of wildlife species
Ahlersa, N., Creecyb, J., Frankhamc, G., Johnsonc, R.N., Kotzed, A., Linacree, A., McEwingf, R., Mwaled, M., Rovie-Ryang, J.J., Sitamg, F., Websterh, L.M.I.
Wildlife crime continues unabated contributing to the extinction or near extinction of many plant and animal species. Species identification is a key tool in the enforcement of national legislation. If no morphology exists, comparison of DNA sequences generated from a mitochondrial gene are compared to those on a reference database, commonly GenBank. Sequences up-loaded to GenBank are unregulated and can lead to uncertainty with the adequacy of this DNA sequence repository for identification in a forensic context. We propose the establishment of ForCyt as a fully-regulated database of species that are commonly encountered in forensic investigations. The establishment of ForCyt will allow confidence in future species identification; something that is an absolute requirement to ensure high quality forensic science.