Guangdong Key Laboratory for Innovative Development and Utilization of Forest Plant Germplasm, Department of Forest Protection, College of Forestry and Landscape Architecture, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510640, China. [Email]
Obtaining genetic information from museum specimens is a fundamental component of many fields of research, including DNA barcoding, population genetics, conservation genetics, and phylogenetic analysis. However, acquiring genetic information from museum specimens is challenging because of the difficulty in amplifying the target sequences due to DNA damage and degradation. Different pretreatments can significantly impact the purity and concentration of genomic DNA from museum specimens. Here, we assessed four pretreatment methods-use of 0.9% NaCl buffer, phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), Saline Tris-EDTA (STE) buffer, and sterile water-to determine which pretreatment is most suitable for DNA extraction from dried specimens of ladybird beetles. We completed a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis to test whether the sequences obtained from dried specimens enable proper phylogenetic inference. Our results showed that pretreatment can improve the quality of DNA from dried specimens. The pretreatment effects of 0.9% NaCl buffer and STE buffer were better than those of PBS buffer and sterile water. The phylogenetic analyses results showed that museum specimens can be used to generate cogent phylogenetic inferences. We report the optimum pretreatment methods for DNA extraction from dried ladybird beetles specimens as well as provide evidence for accurately determining phylogenetic relationships for museum specimens.