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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section

Steele, Pamela [1], Pires, Joseph [2].

Reciprocal Illumination: Combining Morphological and Genomic Characters for Species Identification.

Accurate identification of organisms is fundamental to science and industry. Traditionally, taxonomists have used morphological, geographical, chemical, reproductive, and anatomical characteristics to delineate species. However, in many cases, species identifications remain unclear. DNA barcoding is a modern method of identifying organisms using portions of their genetic sequence analyzed from a small amount of tissue. DNA barcoding has been used to identify native and exotic organisms, illegally imported organisms at ports and borders, undesirable plant and animal substances in processed foodstuffs, pathogens or vectors of pathogens, ancient DNA samples, museum fragments, organisms and tissues at crime scenes, and to assess biodiversity in an ecosystem. However, current DNA barcoding methods are limited to a small number of PCR-amplified markers, and as a result, no genomic markers have yet been discovered that can correctly identify all species tested. We propose a species identification tool that combines classical taxonomy and genome sequencing and takes advantage of recent advances in high-throughput sequencing technology. Current sequencing technologies make it easier and more cost effective to sequence entire plant chloroplast and animal mitochondrial genomes than to sequence a few genes individually. These technologies also make available sequence data from the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes that can provide further support for species identification. We present results of a pilot study designed to test this strategy in an endangered tallgrass prairie ecosystem in Missouri that focused on the three largest and most economically important plant families found in the prairie - Poaceae (grasses), Fabaceae (legumes), and Asteraceae (sunflowers). We compared nuclear ribosomal genes, several mitochondrial genes, and whole chloroplast genomes, genes, and noncoding regions at all taxonomic levels, including investigations between species and across angiosperms. We compared these results with traditional DNA barcoding methods and present our findings.

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1 - University Of Missouri, 371 B Life Sciences Center, 1201 Rollins Street, Columbia, MO, 65211-7310, USA
2 - University Of Missouri, 371 B Life Sciences Center, 1201 Rollins Street, Columbia, MO, 65211, USA

DNA barcoding
citizen science
Next Generation Sequencing
nuclear ribosomal DNA.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 43
Location: Lindell B/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Wednesday, July 13th, 2011
Time: 9:00 AM
Number: 43003
Abstract ID:103

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