(…) It is currently not known if DNA could be obtained from blowhole exhalations of smaller- toothed whales, such as harbour porpoises, with
much smaller exhalation volumes than bottlenose dolphins.
Herein, we collected DNA samples from blowhole exhalations from harbour porpoises and evaluated their suitability for genetic analyses. The
potential usefulness of DNA samples collected in this way depends upon them being of high enough quality for the analysis to give reliable results. Markers, such as microsatellites, are known to be subject to biases (e.g., allelic dropout) when extracted from poor quality/poor quantity samples
(Taberlet et al., 1999). In this study, we compare the quality of harbour porpoise DNA from blowhole exhalations with DNA from blood samples
collected from animals held in captivity. (…)