Hajibabaei, Mehrdad and Singer, Gregory AC and Hickey, Donal A.
Benchmarking DNA barcodes: an assessment using available primate sequences.
- Published Version
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/G06-025
DNA barcoding has been recently promoted as a method for both assigning specimens to known species and for discovering new and cryptic species. Here we test both the potential and the limitations of DNA barcodes by analysing a group of well-studied organisms—the primates. Our results show that DNA barcodes provide enough information to efficiently identify and delineate primate species, but that they cannot reliably uncover many of the deeper phylogenetic relationships. Our conclusion is that these short DNA sequences do not contain enough information to build reliable molecular phylogenies or define new species, but that they can provide efficient sequence tags for assigning unknown specimens to known species. As such, DNA barcoding provides enormous potential for use in global biodiversity studies.
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