Biotech Articles
Publish Your Research Online
Get Recognition - International Audience

Request for an Author Account   |   Login   |   Submit Article
 
 
HOME FAQ TOP AUTHORS FORUMS PUBLISH ARTICLE
 
 

DNA Barcoding: For Taxonomy for Species Identification

BY: Dr. Jameel Akhtar | Category: Biotech-Research | Submitted: 2015-09-09 07:50:05
       No Photo
Article Summary: "Conventional species identification methods are laborious and time consuming and properly not solve the issue of species identification. Under such situations, DNA-based barcode shows the potential to be a powerful supplement for the phenotypic identification of an organism to species or sub-species level..."


Share with Facebook Share with Linkedin Share with Twitter Share with Pinterest Email this article
     


DNA Barcoding: A potential supplement to conventional taxonomy for species identification
Authors: Jameel Akhtar, A Kandan, Pardeep Kumar and Monika Malik
Plant Quarantine Division, ICAR- National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, New Delhi- 110012


After about 250 years of conventional science of biological diversity, systematic studies have distinguished identity and named only ~1.8 million species including ~69000 species of fungi and ~15000 nematodes. As many as 1.6 million species of fungi are thought to exist and a million of nematodes await discovery. This realizes that there is a stark issue of limited taxonomists engaged in different categories of organism identification. And, the current taxonomic system is heavily depended on taxonomists. Few taxonomists can reliably diagnose even 1,000 species and that means we need ~100,000 taxonomists to identify earth's existing species. This is a great taxonomic bottle-neck in biodiversity conservation. Perhaps, this is one of the obvious reasons in driving biologists/ taxonomists towards a new approach for rapid species identification called DNA sequence-based barcoding.

DNA is scaffold of a taxonomic reference system, which is different than the current practice and concept in unitary taxonomy where the type specimen serves as the central reference for comparisons (Tautz et al. 2003). DNA barcode is a unique pattern of DNA sequence that identifies each living thing, just as the unique pattern of bars in a universal product code (UPC) identifies each consumer product. The International Barcode of Life (iBOL) organizes collaborators from more than 150 countries to participate in a variety of "campaigns" to census diversity among plant and animal groups - including ants, bees, butterflies, fish, birds, mammals, fungi, and flowering plants plants - and within ecosystems - including the seas, poles, rain forests, kelp forests, and coral reefs.

Application of DNA Barcode

The success of this technology is very well supported by literature touching different areas related to biodiversity, like, species identification using reference barcode sequences, identification of taxa from cryptic species, conservation biology studies, molecular phylogenetics studies, identification of invasive plant species threats to global biodiversity, analysis for genetic distances between species through tree creation from differences in DNA barcodes, etc.

Identifying Species

The concept of DNA sequence-based barcode for species identification is now widely utilized using the standard DNA Barcodes, e.g. mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (COI or COXI) for animals, choloroplast ribulose-bisphosphate carboxylase gene (rbcL) and the maturase K gene (matK) for plants and nuclear ITS1 spacer and the ITS2 spacer region for fungi. The number for barcoded species is ~470,000 including animal species ~388,596 in Barcode of Life Data (BOLD) System. In addition, It has been contributing in resolution of cryptic species in neo-tropical, tropical and extra-tropical biodiversity. Astraptes fulgerator and Microgastrine wasps have a high number of cryptic species and morphology- based taxonomy alone was unable to resolve the problem. DNA barcoding resolved the issue and realized dramatic increases in species numbers from these cases.

Distinguishing invasive species

Biological invasion by exotic species is considered as one of the greatest threats to ecological biodiversity worldwide. Among invasive aliens, a number of plant species pose serious threat to water bodies. Many related species to the genera Myriophyllum, Ludwigia and Cabomba, are commercially traded, and distinguishing invasive from non-invasive species based on morphology alone is very difficult in a vegetative stage. Aquatic plants were assessed using the chloroplast loci trnH-psbA, matK and rbcL, based on the criteria of universal application, high sequence divergence and level of species discrimination. Thus, DNA barcoding may be helpful with enforcing a ban on trade of such invasive species.

Conserving biodiversity

Taxonomy is prerequisite to effectively describe and understand the worlds' biodiversity for their utilization and conservation. The earth is experiencing the rapid extinction of species. Daughety et al. (1990) ironically stated that what is not described cannot be protected on earth. Critical endangered species needs intervention prevent their extinction. DNA barcoding can enable us to identify species, hence identifying biodiversity rich areas, and design suitable conservation strategies.

Studying phylogenetics

DNA barcoding can be used as a starting point for phylogenetic and population genetics studies as it can provide only first signal of the extent and nature of population divergence. DNA barcodes do not have sufficient phylogenetic signal to resolve evolutionary process, whereas, phylogenetic analysis requires more sequence data from multiple loci even from different genomic compartments.

Issues with DNA Barcoding

About 2.3 million DNA barcodes representing ~300,000 species are now available on public databases and are now available to the researchers and would certainly be used as reference material. These may later pose some issues in future such as monitoring, reliability, reproducibility, validation and curation of data. Therefore, standard guideline is essential including comprehensive DNA sequence library, use of universal agreement on: region of the genome (housekeeping genes) to sequence; and taxonomic standard for governing those web-based links/ data base, and strong regional cooperation and funding for global network for easy access to users/researchers. Reliable applicability is another concern, where, some barcode markers e.g. rbcL trnH-psbA, matK, etc. do not amplify in some plant groups. Even the primers suggested for angiosperms failed to give amplification in Rosaceae and primers for the Pinaceae also failed to amplify in Cedrus sp. Keeping inconsistency of amplification product in view, the integration of multiple genes/ DNA barcodes with conventional taxonomy for improved accuracy in species identification is ideally fit.

Conclusion

Though DNA barcoding is having some serious issues like lack fixed threshold value for divergence, no universal gene region as 'barcode' optimized across kingdoms, sometimes primers suggested for specific group of organism fail to give amplification in others, there is no doubt about the potentiality of DNA barcoding as a global strategy/ tool which is, of course, supportive to scientists working in biodiversity research, especially, taxonomy for the purpose to identify diverse taxa. No single method of advancing science is so powerful in overcoming issues of species identification. Therefore, the concept of DNA sequence-based barcode would probably be the best supplement for conventional species identification accompanied by specimen-based digitized diagnostic features to overcome the issues of taxonomic crisis/ species identification.

References:

1. Daugherty CH, Cree A, Hay JM, Thompson MB. (1990). Neglected taxonomy and continuing extinctions of tuatara (Sphenodon). Nature, 347: 177-179.

2. Tautz D, Arctander P, Minelli A, Thomas RH, Vogler AP (2003). A plea for DNA taxonomy. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 18: 70-74.


About Author / Additional Info:
I am currently working on plant disease diagnosis and seed-borne fungal/bacterial pathogens as Senior Scientist (Plant Pathology for the last five years) in Plant Quarantine Division of ICAR-NBPGR, New Delhi. I have also worked as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology, Birsa Agricultural University, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India for more than 6 years.

Search this site & forums
Share this article with friends:



Share with Facebook Share with Linkedin Share with Twitter Share with Pinterest Email this article

More Social Bookmarks (Digg etc..)


Comments on this article: (0 comments so far)

Comment By Comment

Leave a Comment   |   Article Views: 1179



Additional Articles:

•   Cold Active Proteins in Food and Pharmaceutical Industry

•   Mutants on the Face of Earth: The Evidence That Humans Are Still Evolving.

•   Models For Population Growth

•   You and Your Baby When You Are 26 Weeks Pregnant




Latest Articles in "Biotech-Research" category:
•   Human Longevity: A Revolution in Biotechnology and Nanotechnology.

•   Nanoparticles as Delivery Device For Gene Therapy

•   Biotechnology as a Tool in Medicine: Focus on Artemisinin

•   Tissue Cells and Skin Cells Reprogrammed Into Embryonic Stem Cells:-

•   Polymerase Chain Reaction (or PCR) - Technique For Amplifying DNA

•   Treatment of Heart Disease With Stem Cells

•   Biological Activities and Bioassays

•   DNA Sequencing: Maxam Gilbert Method

•   PCR Aspects and its Future | PCR versus Cloning

•   Plasmid as Vectors For Plant Transformation

•   Gene Isolation and Characterisation

•   Apoptosis and Cancer: A Review

•   Extraction of Nucleic Acids (DNA and RNA) From Plant Tissues

•   Stem Cells From Bone Marrow and Vein Leftovers Can Heal Damaged Hearts

•   Gene Transfer Techniques: Biolistics, Bacterial and Viral Transformation

•   Breast Cancer: Cactus For Womens Life

•   Mtt Assay: Assess The Viability Of Cell In Culture

•   Medicinal Plants: Source Of Medicine

•   Biotechnology Impact on Alzheimer's Disease



Important Disclaimer: All articles on this website are for general information only and is not a professional or experts advice. We do not own any responsibility for correctness or authenticity of the information presented in this article, or any loss or injury resulting from it. We do not endorse these articles, we are neither affiliated with the authors of these articles nor responsible for their content. Please see our disclaimer section for complete terms.
Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape
Copyright © 2010 biotecharticles.com - Do not copy articles from this website.

ARTICLE CATEGORIES :
Agriculture Bioinformatics Applications Biotech Products Biotech Research
Biology Careers College/Edu DNA Environmental Biotech
Genetics Healthcare Industry News Issues Nanotechnology
Others Stem Cells Press Release Toxicology  


  |   Disclaimer/Privacy/TOS   |   Submission Guidelines   |   Contact Us