Original ArticleThe Application of Mitochondrial DNA Cytochrome Oxidase II Gene for the Identification of Forensically Important Blowflies in Western ChinaYing, Bin Wu PhD*; Liu, Ting Ting PhD†; Fan, Hong PhD‡; Wei, Dong MD§; Wen, Fu Qiang PhD‡; Bai, Peng PhD¶; Huang, Jin MD∥; Hou, Yi Ping MD¶Author Information From the *Department of Lab Medicine, ∥Department of Urology, ‡Lab of Respiratory Disease, West China Hospital; †Department of Orthodontics, West China College of Stomatology; ¶Institute of Forensic Medicine, Sichuan University (West China University of Medical Sciences), People's Republic of China; and the §Department of Endocrinology, The Second People's Hospital of Chengdu, Chengdu, People's Republic of China. Manuscript received January 6, 2006; accepted March 9, 2006. Supported by the funds of National Nature Science Foundations of China (NSFC), grant No. 30271446, and Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education with grant (Project No. 20020610044). Reprints: Yi Ping Hou, MD, Institute of Forensic Medicine, Sichuan University (West China University of Medical Sciences), Chengdu 610041, Sichuan, People's Republic of China. E-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: December 2007 - Volume 28 - Issue 4 - p 308-313 doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e31815b4889 Buy Metrics Abstract Blowflies found on human corpses are important for the estimation of the postmortem interval and other questions of forensic relevance. Some of these species are difficult to differentiate morphologically, and therefore a molecular method was elaborated for species identification. Here, we describe a molecular method for rapid identification of these insects. Specific insect DNA fragments were amplified using the polymerase chain reaction, followed by direct DNA sequencing of the amplification products. Analysis of the cytochrome oxidase II sequences revealed abundant phylogenetically informative nucleotide substitutions that could identify blowfly species to species group. In contrast, because of the low level of sequence divergence of sister species, the data could not distinguish among taxa from the same species group, ie, the species within the Lucilia sericata and Lucilia cuprina groups. The molecular data support the existing species group separation of the taxa within the Calliphora. Because of the speed and accuracy of current nucleotide sequencing technology and the abundant apomorphic substitutions available from mtDNA sequences, this approach enables quick identification of species used for estimation of postmortem interval. © 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.