[MARMAM] New paper on COI barcodes

Ana Rita Amaral aramaral at fc.ul.pt
Mon Jul 2 01:47:12 PDT 2007

Dear Marmam readers,

We are pleased to announce the publication of the following article in
Marine and Freshwater Research. For a pdf copy please send requests to:
aramaral at fc.ul.pt

Amaral AR, Sequeira M, Coelho MM (2007) A first approach to the usefulness
of cytochrome c oxidase I barcodes in the identification of closely related
delphinid cetacean species. Marine and Freshwater Research 58: 505-510.


The DNA barcode initiative has gained particular popularity as a promising
tool to assist in species identification by using a single mitochondrial
gene, cytochrome c oxidase I (COI). In some animal groups, COI barcodes have
proved efficient in separating closely related taxa. However, several issues
remain for discussion, namely how efficient this tool will be in animal
groups with an unresolved taxonomy. Here, we examined COI sequences in
delphinid cetaceans, a group where taxonomic uncertainty still exists. We
analysed species belonging to the genera Stenella, Tursiops and Delphinus in
the North-east Atlantic using cytochrome b gene sequences for comparison. We
obtained values of COI interspecific genetic divergence ranging from 1.47%
to 2.45%, which suggests a recent separation of the analysed taxa. S.
coeruleoalba and D. delphis were the most similar species, with COI
phylogenetic trees failing to separate them. On the other hand, the
phylogenetic tree obtained with cytochrome b sequences correctly clustered
species with high bootstrap support values. We thus consider that the
application of COI barcodes in delphinid cetaceans should be done with
caution; not only has the cytochrome b gene shown to be phylogenetically
more informative, but relying only on mitochondrial DNA genes alone may be

Best wishes,

Ana Rita Amaral
Departamento de Biologia Animal
Faculdade de Ciências Universidade de Lisboa
Edifício C2, 3ºpiso Lab.2.3.12/2.3.25
Campo Grande 1749-016 Lisboa
Tel:(+351)21 750 00 00 Ext. 22312
E-mail: aramaral at fc.ul.pt
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