Puparial cases are common remnants of necrophagous flies in crime investigations. They usually represent the longest developmental time and, therefore, they can be very useful for the estimation of the post-mortem interval (PMI). However, before any PMI estimate, it is crucial to identify the species of fly eclosed from each puparium associated with the corpse. Morphological characteristics of the puparium are often distinctive enough to permit a species identification. But, even an accurate morphological analysis of empty puparia cannot discriminate among different species of closely related flies. Furthermore, morphological identification may be impossible if the fly puparia are poorly preserved or in fragments. This study explores the applicability of biomolecular techniques on empty puparia and their fragments for identification purposes. A total of 63 empty puparia of necrophagous Diptera resulting from forensic casework were examined. Samples were divided into three groups according to size, type and time of eclosion in order to verify whether the physical characteristics and puparia weathering can influence the amount of DNA extraction. The results suggest that a reliable genetic identification of forensically important flies may also be performed from empty puparia and/or their fragments. However, DNA degradation can deeply compromise the genetic analysis since the older the fly puparia, the smaller are the amplified fragments.
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1016/j.forsciint.2009.11.022|
|Codice identificativo ISI:||WOS:000273986100016|
|Codice identificativo Scopus:||2-s2.0-75049084974|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|