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Reply to Sarre et al. “Defining specificity in DNA detection of wildlife”

Published:November 10, 2014DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fsigen.2014.10.024
      We recently showed that a putatively ‘species-specific’ PCR assay [
      • Berry O.
      • Sarre S.D.
      • Farrington L.
      • Aitken N.
      Faecal DNA detection of invasive species: the case of feral foxes in Tasmania.
      ] developed for the discrimination of red fox (Vulpes vulpes) scats from those of other predators is highly prone to false positives and unreliable as a means to detect the unique presence of foxes in Tasmania [
      • Gonçalves J.
      • Marks C.A.
      • Obendorf D.
      • Amorim A.
      • Pereira F.
      The risks of using species-specific PCR assays in wildlife research: the case of red fox (Vulpes vulpes) identification in Tasmania.
      ]. A letter [
      • Sarre S.D.
      • MacDonald A.J.
      • Berry O.F.
      • Barclay C.
      • Saunders G.R.
      • Ramsey D.
      Defining specificity in DNA detection of wildlife: response to Gonçalves et al. The risks of using species-specific PCR assays in wildlife research: the case of red fox (Vulpes vulpes) identification in Tasmania.
      ] from the principal authors who originally reported the PCR assay [
      • Berry O.
      • Sarre S.D.
      • Farrington L.
      • Aitken N.
      Faecal DNA detection of invasive species: the case of feral foxes in Tasmania.
      ] made a series of comments that we respond to here.
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      References

        • Berry O.
        • Sarre S.D.
        • Farrington L.
        • Aitken N.
        Faecal DNA detection of invasive species: the case of feral foxes in Tasmania.
        Wildl. Res. 2007; 34: 1-7
        • Gonçalves J.
        • Marks C.A.
        • Obendorf D.
        • Amorim A.
        • Pereira F.
        The risks of using species-specific PCR assays in wildlife research: the case of red fox (Vulpes vulpes) identification in Tasmania.
        Forensic Sci. Int. Genet. 2014; 11: e9-e11
        • Sarre S.D.
        • MacDonald A.J.
        • Berry O.F.
        • Barclay C.
        • Saunders G.R.
        • Ramsey D.
        Defining specificity in DNA detection of wildlife: response to Gonçalves et al. The risks of using species-specific PCR assays in wildlife research: the case of red fox (Vulpes vulpes) identification in Tasmania.
        Forensic Sci. Int. Genet. 2014; 13: 206
        • Sarre S.D.
        • MacDonald A.J.
        • Barclay C.
        • Saunders G.R.
        • Ramsey D.S.
        Foxes are now widespread in Tasmania: DNA detection defines the distribution of this rare but invasive carnivore.
        J. Appl. Ecol. 2013; 50: 459-468
        • Marks C.A.
        • Obendorf D.
        • Pereira F.
        • Edwards I.
        • Hall G.P.
        The dispersion and detection patterns of mtDNA-assigned red fox Vulpes vulpes scats in Tasmania are anomalous.
        J. Appl. Ecol. 2014; 51: 1033-1040