Procedures for sampling genomic DNA from live billfishes involve manual restraint and tissue excision that can be difficult to carry out and may produce stresses that affect fish survival. We examined the collection of surface mucous as a less invasive alternative method for sourcing genomic DNA by comparing it to autologous muscle tissue samples from Atlantic blue marlin (Makaira nigricans), white marlin (Tetrapturus albidus), sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus), and swordfish (Xiphias gladius). Purified DNA from mucous was comparable to muscle and was suitable for conventional polymerase chain reaction, random amplified polymorphic DNA analysis, and mitochondrial and nuclear locus sequencing. The nondestructive and less invasive characteristics of surface mucous collection may promote increased survival of released specimens and may be advantageous for other marine fish genetic studies, particularly those involving large live specimens destined for release.
John P. Hoolihan, Nerida G. Wilson, Ronald M. Faugue, Andrea Bernard, Rebekah L. Horn, Derke Snodgrass, and Duane R. Schultz. 2009. Surface Mucous as a Source of Genomic DNA from Atlantic Billfishes (Istiophoridae) and Swordfish (Xiphiidae) .Fishery Bulletin , (3) : 339 -342. https://nsuworks.nova.edu/occ_facarticles/892.