Molecular Species Identification of Six Forensically Important Iranian Flesh Flies (Diptera)

  • Fahimeh Talebzadeh Department of Medical Entomology and Vector Control, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Mohammad Ali Oshaghi Mail Department of Medical Entomology and Vector Control, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Kamran Akbarzadeh Department of Medical Entomology and Vector Control, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Somayeh Panahi-Moghadam Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran
Sarcophagidae; Forensic entomology; Flesh fly; mtDNA COI; PCR-RFLP


Background: Flesh flies (Diptera: Sarcophagidae) are considered as myiasis agents and important evidences in forensic investigations. However, their use has been restricted because, at all larval stages and female adults, morphological species identification is difficult or very challenging. This study investigated to test utility of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (mt-COI) sequences for differentiation of six forensically important Iranian flesh flies namely, Sarcophaga crassipalpis, S. flagellifera, S. hirtipes, S. aegyptica, S. africa and S. argyrostoma.Methods: Male specimens were morphologically identified to species level and then the genomic DNA of the flies were extracted and subjected to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) against mt-COI gene. The PCR products were sequenced and the obtained sequences were analyzed for the species specific restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs).Results: Rate of genetic variation between species was 6–10% which was enough to find restriction enzymes (RE) that were able to produce species-specific RFLP profiles. Combinations of three REs: BsrFI, RsaI and HinfI, provided diagnostic bands for identification of the six Sarcophaga species.Conclusions: The results of this study showed that molecular markers such as RFLPs enhancing the use of evidence from flesh flies in forensic investigation. However, lack proper restriction sites in the COI region inhibited introduction of a single restriction enzyme for easy species identification. It is recommended to apply larger part of DNA such as combination of COI and COII genes to provide better RFLP markers for species identification of flesh flies.


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How to Cite
Talebzadeh F, Oshaghi MA, Akbarzadeh K, Panahi-Moghadam S. Molecular Species Identification of Six Forensically Important Iranian Flesh Flies (Diptera). J Arthropod Borne Dis. 14(4):416–424.
Original Article