Developing diagnostic SNP panels for the identification of true fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) within the limits of COI-based species delimitation.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Rapid and reliable identification of quarantine pests is essential for plant inspection services to prevent introduction of invasive species. For insects, this may be a serious problem when dealing with morphologically similar cryptic species complexes and early developmental stages that lack distinctive characters useful for taxonomic identification. DNA based barcoding could solve many of these problems. The standard barcode fragment, an approx. 650 base pairs long sequence of the 5'end of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (COI), enables differentiation of a very wide range of arthropods. However, problems remain in some taxa, such as Tephritidae, where recent genetic differentiation among some of the described species hinders accurate molecular discrimination. RESULTS:In order to explore the full species discrimination potential of COI, we sequenced the barcoding region of the COI gene of a range of economically important Tephritid species and complemented these data with all GenBank and BOLD entries for the systematic group available as of January 2012. We explored the limits of species delimitation of this barcode fragment among 193 putative Tephritid species and established operational taxonomic units (OTUs), between which discrimination is reliably possible. Furthermore, to enable future development of rapid diagnostic assays based on this sequence information, we characterized all single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and established "near-minimal" sets of SNPs that differentiate among all included OTUs with at least three and four SNPs, respectively. CONCLUSIONS:We found that although several species cannot be differentiated based on the genetic diversity observed in COI and hence form composite OTUs, 85% of all OTUs correspond to described species. Because our SNP panels are developed based on all currently available sequence information and rely on a minimal pairwise difference of three SNPs, they are highly reliable and hence represent an important resource for developing taxon-specific diagnostic assays. For selected cases, possible explanations that may cause composite OTUs are discussed.
Project description:The mitochondrial gene cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) is commonly used for DNA barcoding in animals. However, most of the COI barcode nucleotides are conserved and sequences longer than about 650 base pairs increase the computational burden for species identification. To solve this problem, we propose a decision theory-based COI SNP tagging (DCST) approach that focuses on the discrimination of species using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) as the variable nucleotides of the sequences of a group of species. Using the example of 126 teleost mackerel fish species (order: Scombriformes), we identified 281 SNPs by alignment and trimming of their COI sequences. After decision rule making, 49 SNPs in 126 fish species were determined using the scoring system of the DCST approach. These COI-SNP barcodes were finally transformed into one-dimensional barcode images. Our proposed DCST approach simplifies the computational complexity and identifies the most effective and fewest SNPs to resolve or discriminate species for species tagging.
Project description:Sand fly identification is complex because it depends on the expertise of the taxonomist. The females show subtle morphological differences and the occurrence of the species complexes are usual in this taxon. Therefore, a fragment of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene is used for taxon barcoding to resolve this kind of problem. This study incorporates barcode sequences, for the first time, for Evandromyia cortelezzii and Migonemyia migonei from Argentina. The nucleotide sequence divergences were estimated to generate a neighbour-joining (NJ) tree. The automatic barcode gap discovery (ABGD) approach was employed to find the barcode gaps and the operational taxonomic unit (OTU) delimitation. Other species of the subtribe were included. The frequency histogram of divergences showed a barcoding gap. The ABGD analysis identified 14 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) from 13 morphological species. Sequences of Ev. cortelezzii and Mg. migonei formed well supported clusters and were diagnosed as primary species. These sequences are useful tools for molecular identification of the sand flies of the New World.
Project description:DNA barcoding is a useful tool to identify the components of mixed or bulk samples, as well as to determine individuals that lack morphologically diagnostic features. However, the reference database of DNA barcode sequences is particularly sparsely populated for marine invertebrates and for tropical taxa. We used samples collected as part of two field courses, focused on graduate training in taxonomy and systematics, to generate DNA sequences of the barcode fragments of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and mitochondrial ribosomal 16S genes for 447 individuals, representing at least 129 morphospecies of decapod crustaceans. COI sequences for 36% (51/140) of the species and 16S sequences for 26% (37/140) of the species were new to GenBank. Automatic Barcode Gap Discovery identified 140 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) which largely coincided with the morphospecies delimitations. Barcode identifications (i.e. matches to identified sequences) were especially useful for OTUs within Synalpheus, a group that is notoriously difficult to identify and rife with cryptic species, a number of which we could not identify to species, based on morphology. Non-concordance between morphospecies and barcode OTUs also occurred in a few cases of suspected cryptic species. As mitochondrial pseudogenes are particularly common in decapods, we investigate the potential for this dataset to include pseudogenes and discuss the utility of these sequences as species identifiers (i.e. barcodes). These results demonstrate that material collected and identified during training activities can provide useful incidental barcode reference samples for under-studied taxa.
Project description:Soil nematodes play crucial roles in the soil food web and are a suitable indicator for assessing soil environments and ecosystems. Previous nematode community analyses based on nematode morphology classification have been shown to be useful for assessing various soil environments. Here we have conducted DNA barcode analysis for soil nematode community analyses in Japanese soils. We isolated nematodes from two different environmental soils of an unmanaged flowerbed and an agricultural field using the improved flotation-sieving method. Small subunit (SSU) rDNA fragments were directly amplified from each of 68 (flowerbed samples) and 48 (field samples) isolated nematodes to determine the nucleotide sequence. Sixteen and thirteen operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were obtained by multiple sequence alignment from the flowerbed and agricultural field nematodes, respectively. All 29 SSU rDNA-derived OTUs (rOTUs) were further mapped onto a phylogenetic tree with 107 known nematode species. Interestingly, the two nematode communities examined were clearly distinct from each other in terms of trophic groups: Animal predators and plant feeders were markedly abundant in the flowerbed soils, in contrast, bacterial feeders were dominantly observed in the agricultural field soils. The data from the flowerbed nematodes suggests a possible food web among two different trophic nematode groups and plants (weeds) in the closed soil environment. Finally, DNA sequences derived from the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase c subunit 1 (COI) gene were determined as a DNA barcode from 43 agricultural field soil nematodes. These nematodes were assigned to 13 rDNA-derived OTUs, but in the COI gene analysis were assigned to 23 COI gene-derived OTUs (cOTUs), indicating that COI gene-based barcoding may provide higher taxonomic resolution than conventional SSU rDNA-barcoding in soil nematode community analysis.
Project description:This study summarizes results of a DNA barcoding campaign on German Diptera, involving analysis of 45,040 specimens. The resultant DNA barcode library includes records for 2,453 named species comprising a total of 5,200 barcode index numbers (BINs), including 2,700 COI haplotype clusters without species-level assignment, so called "dark taxa." Overall, 88 out of 117 families (75%) recorded from Germany were covered, representing more than 50% of the 9,544 known species of German Diptera. Until now, most of these families, especially the most diverse, have been taxonomically inaccessible. By contrast, within a few years this study provided an intermediate taxonomic system for half of the German Dipteran fauna, which will provide a useful foundation for subsequent detailed, integrative taxonomic studies. Using DNA extracts derived from bulk collections made by Malaise traps, we further demonstrate that species delineation using BINs and operational taxonomic units (OTUs) constitutes an effective method for biodiversity studies using DNA metabarcoding. As the reference libraries continue to grow, and gaps in the species catalogue are filled, BIN lists assembled by metabarcoding will provide greater taxonomic resolution. The present study has three main goals: (a) to provide a DNA barcode library for 5,200 BINs of Diptera; (b) to demonstrate, based on the example of bulk extractions from a Malaise trap experiment, that DNA barcode clusters, labelled with globally unique identifiers (such as OTUs and/or BINs), provide a pragmatic, accurate solution to the "taxonomic impediment"; and (c) to demonstrate that interim names based on BINs and OTUs obtained through metabarcoding provide an effective method for studies on species-rich groups that are usually neglected in biodiversity research projects because of their unresolved taxonomy.
Project description:BACKGROUND: DNA barcoding has been advanced as a promising tool to aid species identification and discovery through the use of short, standardized gene targets. Despite extensive taxonomic studies, for a variety of reasons the identification of fishes can be problematic, even for experts. DNA barcoding is proving to be a useful tool in this context. However, its broad application is impeded by the need to construct a comprehensive reference sequence library for all fish species. Here, we make a regional contribution to this grand challenge by calibrating the species discrimination efficiency of barcoding among 125 Argentine fish species, representing nearly one third of the known fauna, and examine the utility of these data to address several key taxonomic uncertainties pertaining to species in this region. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Specimens were collected and morphologically identified during crusies conducted between 2005 and 2008. The standard BARCODE fragment of COI was amplified and bi-directionally sequenced from 577 specimens (mean of 5 specimens/species), and all specimens and sequence data were archived and interrogated using analytical tools available on the Barcode of Life Data System (BOLD; www.barcodinglife.org). Nearly all species exhibited discrete clusters of closely related haplogroups which permitted the discrimination of 95% of the species (i.e. 119/125) examined while cases of shared haplotypes were detected among just three species-pairs. Notably, barcoding aided the identification of a new species of skate, Dipturus argentinensis, permitted the recognition of Genypterus brasiliensis as a valid species and questions the generic assignment of Paralichthys isosceles. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This study constitutes a significant contribution to the global barcode reference sequence library for fishes and demonstrates the utility of barcoding for regional species identification. As an independent assessment of alpha taxonomy, barcodes provide robust support for most morphologically based taxon concepts and also highlight key areas of taxonomic uncertainty worthy of reappraisal.
Project description:DNA barcodes are widely used in taxonomy, systematics, species identification, food safety, and forensic science. Most of the conventional DNA barcode sequences contain the whole information of a given barcoding gene. Most of the sequence information does not vary and is uninformative for a given group of taxa within a monophylum. We suggest here a method that reduces the amount of noninformative nucleotides in a given barcoding sequence of a major taxon, like the prokaryotes, or eukaryotic animals, plants, or fungi. The actual differences in genetic sequences, called single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping, provide a tool for developing a rapid, reliable, and high-throughput assay for the discrimination between known species. Here, we investigated SNPs as robust markers of genetic variation for identifying different pigeon species based on available cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) data. We propose here a decision tree-based SNP barcoding (DTSB) algorithm where SNP patterns are selected from the DNA barcoding sequence of several evolutionarily related species in order to identify a single species with pigeons as an example. This approach can make use of any established barcoding system. We here firstly used as an example the mitochondrial gene COI information of 17 pigeon species (Columbidae, Aves) using DTSB after sequence trimming and alignment. SNPs were chosen which followed the rule of decision tree and species-specific SNP barcodes. The shortest barcode of about 11 bp was then generated for discriminating 17 pigeon species using the DTSB method. This method provides a sequence alignment and tree decision approach to parsimoniously assign a unique and shortest SNP barcode for any known species of a chosen monophyletic taxon where a barcoding sequence is available.
Project description:The genus Anastrepha is a diverse lineage of fruit-damaging tephritid flies widespread across the Neotropical Region. Accurate taxonomic identification of these flies is therefore of paramount importance in agricultural contexts. DNA barcoding libraries are molecular-based tools based on a short sequence of the mitochondrial COI gene enabling rapid taxonomic identification of biological species. In this study, we evaluate the utility of this method for species identification of Peruvian species of Anastrepha and assemble a preliminary barcode profile for the group. We obtained 73 individual sequences representing the 15 most common species, 13 of which were either assigned to previously recognized or newly established BINs. Intraspecific genetic divergence between sampled species averaged 1.01% (range 0-3.3%), whereas maximum interspecific values averaged 8.67 (range 8.26-17.12%). DNA barcoding was found to be an effective method to discriminate between many Peruvian species of Anastrepha that were tested, except for most species of the fraterculus species group, which were all assigned to the same BIN as they shared similar and, in some cases, identical barcodes. We complemented this newly produced dataset with 86 published sequences to build a DNA barcoding library of 159 sequences representing 56 Peruvian species of Anastrepha (approx. 58% of species reported from that country). We conclude that DNA barcoding is an effective method to distinguish among Peruvian species of Anastrepha outside the fraterculus group, and that complementary methods (e.g., morphometrics, additional genetic markers) would be desirable to assist sensu stricto species identification for phytosanitary surveillance and management practices of this important group of pestiferous flies.
Project description:Taxonomy that utilizes morphological characteristics has been the gold standard method to identify mosquito species. However, morphological identification is challenging when the expertise is limited and external characters are damaged because of improper specimen handling. Therefore, we explored the applicability of mitochondrial cytochrome C oxidase subunit 1 (COI) gene-based DNA barcoding as an alternative tool to identify mosquito species. In the present study, we compared the morphological identification of mosquito specimens with their differentiation based on COI barcode, in order to establish a more reliable identification system for mosquito species found in Singapore.We analysed 128 adult mosquito specimens, belonging to 45 species of 13 genera. Phylogenetic trees were constructed for Aedes, Anopheles, Culex and other genera of mosquitoes and the distinctive clustering of different species was compared with their taxonomic identity.The COI-based DNA barcoding achieved a 100% success rate in identifying the mosquito species. We also report COI barcode sequences of 16 mosquito species which were not available previously in sequence databases.Our study utilised for the first time DNA barcoding to identify mosquito species in Singapore. COI-based DNA barcoding is a useful tool to complement taxonomy-based identification of mosquito species.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:The PCR-based analysis of homologous genes has become one of the most powerful approaches for species detection and identification, particularly with the recent availability of Next Generation Sequencing platforms (NGS) making it possible to identify species composition from a broad range of environmental samples. Identifying species from these samples relies on the ability to match sequences with reference barcodes for taxonomic identification. Unfortunately, most studies of environmental samples have targeted ribosomal markers, despite the fact that the mitochondrial Cytochrome c Oxidase subunit I gene (COI) is by far the most widely available sequence region in public reference libraries. This is largely because the available versatile ("universal") COI primers target the 658 barcoding region, whose size is considered too large for many NGS applications. Moreover, traditional barcoding primers are known to be poorly conserved across some taxonomic groups. RESULTS:We first design a new PCR primer within the highly variable mitochondrial COI region, the "mlCOIintF" primer. We then show that this newly designed forward primer combined with the "jgHCO2198" reverse primer to target a 313 bp fragment performs well across metazoan diversity, with higher success rates than versatile primer sets traditionally used for DNA barcoding (i.e. LCO1490/HCO2198). Finally, we demonstrate how the shorter COI fragment coupled with an efficient bioinformatics pipeline can be used to characterize species diversity from environmental samples by pyrosequencing. We examine the gut contents of three species of planktivorous and benthivorous coral reef fish (family: Apogonidae and Holocentridae). After the removal of dubious COI sequences, we obtained a total of 334 prey Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) belonging to 14 phyla from 16 fish guts. Of these, 52.5% matched a reference barcode (>98% sequence similarity) and an additional 32% could be assigned to a higher taxonomic level using Bayesian assignment. CONCLUSIONS:The molecular analysis of gut contents targeting the 313 COI fragment using the newly designed mlCOIintF primer in combination with the jgHCO2198 primer offers enormous promise for metazoan metabarcoding studies. We believe that this primer set will be a valuable asset for a range of applications from large-scale biodiversity assessments to food web studies.