Identifying fish species using DNA barcodes from multiple areas of DNA

A new method for identifying species from their DNA expands on current “DNA barcoding” methods. In the current DNA barcoding methods, a particular promising section of DNA in the mitochondria of cells is sequenced, and differences in the DNA “letters” used to identify species with high accuracy: for instance, this method is more than 80% accurate for freshwater fish species in the Congo River basin. However, DNA barcoding cannot separate sister species that have only recently diverged. Now, a new method has been developed that looks at 500 sections of DNA, and was shown to separate previously inseparable sister species of mandarin fish (Siniperca spp.). When applied to sister species of rock-climbing gobies (Sicydium spp.), however, there was no genetic divergence, suggesting that these two species may not in fact be different species. The new research was coauthored by SAFS professor Luke Tornabene and is published in the journal Scientific Reports.

 

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