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BMC Genomics

, 9:214

First Online: 12 May 2008Received: 19 December 2007Accepted: 12 May 2008

Abstract

BackgroundThe goal of DNA barcoding is to develop a species-specific sequence library for all eukaryotes. A 650 bp fragment of the cytochrome c oxidase 1 CO1 gene has been used successfully for species-level identification in several animal groups. It may be difficult in practice, however, to retrieve a 650 bp fragment from archival specimens, because of DNA degradation or from environmental samples where universal primers are needed.

ResultsWe used a bioinformatics analysis using all CO1 barcode sequences from GenBank and calculated the probability of having species-specific barcodes for varied size fragments. This analysis established the potential of much smaller fragments, mini-barcodes, for identifying unknown specimens. We then developed a universal primer set for the amplification of mini-barcodes. We further successfully tested the utility of this primer set on a comprehensive set of taxa from all major eukaryotic groups as well as archival specimens.

ConclusionIn this study we address the important issue of minimum amount of sequence information required for identifying species in DNA barcoding. We establish a novel approach based on a much shorter barcode sequence and demonstrate its effectiveness in archival specimens. This approach will significantly broaden the application of DNA barcoding in biodiversity studies.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2164-9-214 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Isabelle Meusnier - Gregory AC Singer - Jean-François Landry - Donal A Hickey - Paul DN Hebert - Mehrdad Hajibabaei

Source: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/1471-2164-9-214







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