Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Desert Wheatear Poo full of sand!

I received this email from Dr Martin Collinson regarding DNA analysis of the Rhyl Desert Wheatear.

Hi Marc

Not great news on the Rhyl Desert Wheatear - its poo contained plenty of sand(!) but we can't PCR up any DNA. This sometimes happens with these samples, a bit hit and miss. We were processing 6 different birds and 4 worked, two didn't, so you're just unlucky. Thanks for collecting it though! It was a decent sized deposit and I would have expected to get something. Strangely it seems to be very hard to get DNA out of seaside poo, and I wonder if it's the salt or something.

Best wishes

Oh well, thanks for trying Martin. All's not lost though- perhaps Dr Paul Brewster's pellet may contain the key to unlocking the question of which race of Desert Wheatear our bird belongs to.

1 comment:

  1. I had discussed the possibility of a DNA sample from the pellet with other biologists I know & the worry is that the DNA will be of the insects in the pellet rather than from the wheatear. The pellet is totally dry now & just consists of chitinous fragments of insects. Therefore any DNA present will probably be from N.Wales!!