Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Theresa Spradling

Second Advisor

L. Brian Patrick


Spiders--Genome mapping; Nondestructive testing; Nucleotide sequence;


DNA barcodes are short sequences of nucleotides that differ from species to species (Hebert et al., 2003; Hebert & Gregory, 2005). DNA barcoding is very important in helping to reconstruct phylogenetic trees and to confirm the identity of threatened or endangered species in the wild. Additionally, it has become increasingly popular in the food industry to test the accuracy of the food being sold in fast food chains (Wong and Hanner, 2008). For scientific purposes, nondestructive DNA extraction techniques need to be explored because they allow for preservation of the voucher specimen, which is particularly important for rare or extinct museum specimens. Using a commercial DNA extraction kit could make the process of extracting DNA from small voucher specimens more regulated, and thus more universal. It is already known that DNA can be extracted from spiders in a non-destructive manner. This study addressed whether or not DNA can be extracted from small spiders (1-3 millimeters in size) in a non-destructive manner using a commercial DNA extraction kit, such as the Qiagen DNeasy Blood and Tissue Kit. From this research, it was determined that DNA can be extracted in a non-destructive manner using a commercial kit in fresh collections of spiders, thus allowing DNA barcoding while saving the specimen as a voucher. However, in preserved voucher specimens, four years or older, nondestructive DNA extraction methods using a commercial kit were not as effective, preventing DNA barcoding.

Year of Submission



Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

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