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Trop Biomed. 2013 Sep;30(3):375-87.

Identification of forensically important beetles (Coleoptera: Histeridae) in China based on 16S rRNA and Cyt b.

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Department of Forensic Science, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Central South University, Changsha 410013, Hunan, China.


Exact identification of an insect sample is usually the first essential step in a forensic entomological analysis. However, the morphological similarity of beetles in the level of species usually poses a challenge for forensic scientists within their routine work. As a supplementary to traditional morphological method, molecular genetics identification turns out to be simple and time-saving. A molecular identification method involving a 288-bp segment of the 16S ribosomal RNA (16S rRNA) gene and a 334-bp segment of the cytochrome b (Cyt b) gene from 23 histerid beetles specimens, collected from 7 locations in 6 Chinese provinces, was evaluated. The 16S rRNA and Cyt b genes are sequenced to examine the ability of the region, resolve species identities and enrich the local databases. The monophyletic branches of the phylogenetic tree showed the potential of the markers in identifying beetles within families. Combined analysis is a more accurate approach for species identication than independent analysis.

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