DNA barcoding: a new diagnostic tool for rapid species recognition, identification, and discovery. James Hanken Museum of Comparative Zoology Harvard University, USA. What is DNA barcoding?.
DNA barcoding: a new diagnostic tool for rapid species recognition, identification, and discovery
Museum of Comparative Zoology
Harvard University, USA
“the role of any molecular diagnostic is to aid research, not to serve as an end in itself. Barcoding … is independent of questions as to whether individual taxa are species, what species are (or should be), and where they fit in a unified tree of life…. Barcoding is not an end in itself, but will boost the rate of discovery. The unique contribution of DNA barcoding to … taxonomy and systematics is a compressed timeline for the exploration and analysis of biodiversity.”
1) Facilitating identification and recognition of named (described) species:
2) Surveying and inventorying biodiversity; e.g., flagging potentially new (undescribed) species.
D. Janzen, et al., submitted
Food plant: Celtis iguanaea
Food plant: Trigonia (2 species); larvae will starve if reared on plants used by other larval types.
n = 13,320
Between-species sequence divergence in COI (%)
n = 17
Proportion of species pairs
Annelida, Arthropoda, Chordata, Mollusca, Echinodermata, Nematoda, Platyhelminthes
Cnidaria (corals, anemones, jellyfish, sea pens, etc.)
Voucher specimens and electronic databases
2) Possible targets:
“All taxa”—primates, turtles, mosquitoes, tephritid fruitflies, birds, sphinx moths, salamanders, etc.
Regional faunas, e.g., Gulf of Maine megafauna.
Existing inventories, e.g., INBio and ACG (Costa Rica).
1) Goals and objectives:
Validate barcoding approach, in general, and the use of COI, in particular (for animals); i.e., proof of principle.
Assess feasibility of large-scale effort, e.g., identify bottlenecks, cost, logistic issues.
3) Would rely principally on museum specimens.
See also Nature 426: 514 (4 Dec 2003)