Presentation Title

Successful extraction of DNA from California land snail (Helminthoglyptidae) shells: tapping into museum collections for species identification and phylogenetic analyses.

Faculty Mentor

Jann E. Vendetti, PhD.

Start Date

23-11-2019 10:00 AM

End Date

23-11-2019 10:45 AM

Location

121

Session

poster 3

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

biological_agricultural_sciences

Abstract

Sahakian, R. 1* , Vendetti, J. E.2

1 Biology Division, Glendale Community College, Glendale, CA

2 Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

* Student author

Molluscan specimens from natural history collections preserve a record of biodiversity for scientific study. Most of the molluscan collections at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHMLA) are shells only; their soft tissues have not been preserved. For this reason, these collections have been identified and classified using morphology rather than a genetic approach, and dry shell specimens have not been included in phylogenetic analyses. Recently, advances in DNA extraction methods have produced several protocols for extracting molecular data (DNA) from molluscan shells. In this study, shell material from several land snail species in NHMLA collections was destructively sampled and DNA was successfully extracted, amplified, and sequenced. Importantly, this is the first time snail DNA has been extracted and sequenced from the shells of species within the California endemic gastropod family Helminthoglyptidae, known as the Shoulderband snails. These results have important implications for future studies of land snails because shell material can be used to: 1) identify extinct or extirpated species only present in collections, 2) genetically sample species through historical time, 3) include specimens from localities in which species or populations have been extirpated into phylogenetic analyses, and 4) increase taxon sampling of rare lineages only present in collections.

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Nov 23rd, 10:00 AM Nov 23rd, 10:45 AM

Successful extraction of DNA from California land snail (Helminthoglyptidae) shells: tapping into museum collections for species identification and phylogenetic analyses.

121

Sahakian, R. 1* , Vendetti, J. E.2

1 Biology Division, Glendale Community College, Glendale, CA

2 Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

* Student author

Molluscan specimens from natural history collections preserve a record of biodiversity for scientific study. Most of the molluscan collections at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHMLA) are shells only; their soft tissues have not been preserved. For this reason, these collections have been identified and classified using morphology rather than a genetic approach, and dry shell specimens have not been included in phylogenetic analyses. Recently, advances in DNA extraction methods have produced several protocols for extracting molecular data (DNA) from molluscan shells. In this study, shell material from several land snail species in NHMLA collections was destructively sampled and DNA was successfully extracted, amplified, and sequenced. Importantly, this is the first time snail DNA has been extracted and sequenced from the shells of species within the California endemic gastropod family Helminthoglyptidae, known as the Shoulderband snails. These results have important implications for future studies of land snails because shell material can be used to: 1) identify extinct or extirpated species only present in collections, 2) genetically sample species through historical time, 3) include specimens from localities in which species or populations have been extirpated into phylogenetic analyses, and 4) increase taxon sampling of rare lineages only present in collections.