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Trends Ecol Evol. 2015 Jan;30(1):25-35. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2014.10.008. Epub 2014 Nov 19.

DNA barcodes for ecology, evolution, and conservation.

Author information

1
Department of Botany, MRC-166, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, PO Box 37012, Washington, DC 20013-7012, USA. Electronic address: kressj@si.edu.
2
Department of Botany, MRC-166, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, PO Box 37012, Washington, DC 20013-7012, USA; Department of Entomology, MRC-187, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, PO Box 37012, Washington, DC 20013-7012, USA; Laboratory of Interactions and Global Change, Department of Multitrophic Interactions, Institute of Ecology (INECOL), Carretera Antigua a Coatepec Number 351, El Haya, Xalapa,Veracruz 91070, Mexico.
3
Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA.
4
Department of Botany, MRC-166, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, PO Box 37012, Washington, DC 20013-7012, USA.

Abstract

The use of DNA barcodes, which are short gene sequences taken from a standardized portion of the genome and used to identify species, is entering a new phase of application as more and more investigations employ these genetic markers to address questions relating to the ecology and evolution of natural systems. The suite of DNA barcode markers now applied to specific taxonomic groups of organisms are proving invaluable for understanding species boundaries, community ecology, functional trait evolution, trophic interactions, and the conservation of biodiversity. The application of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology will greatly expand the versatility of DNA barcodes across the Tree of Life, habitats, and geographies as new methodologies are explored and developed.

KEYWORDS:

DNA barcodes; ecology; next generation sequencing; phylogenetics; taxonomy

PMID:
25468359
DOI:
10.1016/j.tree.2014.10.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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