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Lefort M, Boyer S, Barun A, Emami Khoyi A, Ridden J, Smith VR, Sprague R, Waterhouse BR, Cruickshank RH.2014. Blood, sweat and tears: non-invasive vs. non-disruptive DNA sampling for experimental biology. PeerJ PrePrints2:e655v1https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.655v1
DNA data are becoming increasingly important in experimental biology. For example, it may be necessary to obtain DNA from an organism before using it in a bioassay or an experiment, to identify and distinguish between cryptic species, or when comparing different morphocryptic genotypes. Another example could be the assessment of relatedness between organisms prior to a behavioural study. In such cases, it is important to obtain DNA without affecting the fitness or behaviour of the subject being tested, as this could bias the results of the experiment. This points out the existence of a gap in the current molecular and experimental biology terminology, for which we propose the use of the term non-disruptive DNA sampling, specifically addressing behaviour and/or fitness, rather than simply physical integrity (invasiveness). We refer to these methods as “non-disruptive”, and discuss when they are appropriate to use.
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