DNA barcoding was proposed as a method for recognition and identification of eukaryotic species through comparison of sequences of a standard short DNA fragment—DNA barcode—from an unknown specimen to a library of reference sequences from known species. This allows identifying an organism at any stage of development from a very small tissue sample, fresh or conserved many years ago. Molecular identification of plant samples can be used in various scientific and applied fields. It would also help to find new species, which is particularly important for cryptogamic plants. An optimal DNA barcode region is a small fragment presented in all species of a major taxonomic group, having invariable nucleotide sequence in all members of the same species, but with sufficient variation to discriminate among the species. This fragment should be flanked by low-variable regions for use of universal primers in PCR for amplification and sequencing. The DNA barcode that is well established in animals is a sequence of a fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase gene CO1. However, searching for DNA barcode in plants proved to be a more challenging task. No DNA region universally suitable for all plants and meeting all of the necessary criteria has been found. Apparently, a multilocus or two-stage approach should be applied for this purpose. Several fragments of the chloroplast genome (trnH-psbA, matK, rpoC, rpoB, rbcL) in combinations of two or three regions were suggested as candidate regions with highest potential, but more representative samples should be examined to choose the best candidate. The possibility is discussed to use as DNA barcode internal transcribed spacers (ITS) of nuclear rRNA genes, which are highly variable, widely employed in molecular phylogenetic studies at the species level, but also have some limitations.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 12, 2009
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