Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Pennsylvania
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Edson, J., J. Brown, W.L. Miller, and W. D. Walter. 2021. Comparison of sample types from white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) for DNA extraction and analyses. Scientific Reports 11, 10003.


Collection of biological samples for DNA is necessary in a variety of disciplines including disease epidemiology, landscape genetics, and forensics. Quantity and quality of DNA varies depending on the method of collection or media available for collection (e.g., blood, tissue, fecal). Blood is the most common sample collected in vials or on Whatman FTA cards with short- and long-term storage providing adequate DNA for study objectives. The focus of this study was to determine if biological samples other than blood stored on Whatman FTA Elute cards were a reasonable alternative to traditional DNA sample collection, storage and extraction. Tissue, nasal swabs, and ocular fluid were collected from white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Tissue samples acted as a control to compare extraction and DNA suitability for microsatellite analysis for nasal swabs and nasal swabs and ocular fluid extracted from FTA Elute cards. We determined that FTA Elute cards improved the extraction time and storage of samples and that nasal swabs and ocular fluid containing pigmented fluid were reasonable alternatives to traditional tissue DNA extractions. Also, DNA extractions from nasal swabs provided ample DNA but did not improve extraction time or storage of samples.