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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 827; doi:10.3390/ijms18040827

Is There any Alternative to Canonical DNA Barcoding of Multicellular Eukaryotic Species? A Case for the Tubulin Gene Family

Istituto Biologia e Biotecnologia Agraria, onsiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, 20133 Milano, Italy
Academic Editor: T. G. Emyr Davies
Received: 6 March 2017 / Revised: 5 April 2017 / Accepted: 11 April 2017 / Published: 13 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [183 KB, uploaded 14 April 2017]

Abstract

Modern taxonomy is largely relying on DNA barcoding, a nucleotide sequence-based approach that provides automated species identification using short orthologous DNA regions, mainly of organellar origin when applied to multicellular Eukaryotic species. Target DNA loci have been selected that contain a minimal amount of nucleotide sequence variation within species while diverging among species. This strategy is quite effective for the identification of vertebrates and other animal lineages but poses a problem in plants where different combinations of two or three loci are constantly used. Even so, species discrimination in such plant categories as ornamentals and herbals remain problematic as well as the confident identification of subspecies, ecotypes, and closely related or recently evolved species. All these limitations may be successfully solved by the application of a different strategy, based on the use of a multi-locus, ubiquitous, nuclear marker, that is tubulin. In fact, the tubulin-based polymorphism method can release specific genomic profiles to any plant species independently from its taxonomic group. This offers the rare possibility of an effective yet generic genomic fingerprint. In a more general context, the issue is raised about the possibility that approaches alternative to systematic DNA sequencing may still provide useful and simple solutions. View Full-Text
Keywords: DNA barcoding; molecular taxonomy; tubulin-based polymorphism; species identification; biodiversity DNA barcoding; molecular taxonomy; tubulin-based polymorphism; species identification; biodiversity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Breviario, D. Is There any Alternative to Canonical DNA Barcoding of Multicellular Eukaryotic Species? A Case for the Tubulin Gene Family. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 827.

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