Estimating the barcoding gap in a global dataset of cox1 sequences for Odonata: close, but no cigar

2017-07-28T09:29:01Z (GMT) by Ricardo Koroiva Sebastian Kvist

We evaluated the extent of intraspecific and interspecific genetic distances for two highly diverse infraorders of Odonata: Anisoptera and Zygoptera. All cytochrome c oxidase subunit I sequences (cox1), the region chosen for zoological DNA barcoding, present in GenBank for each infraorder were downloaded and curated. For Anisoptera, the final dataset consisted of 2,961 individual cox1 sequences for 536 species and the equivalent numbers for Zygoptera were 2,477 sequences for 497 species. More than 7 million individual genetic comparisons were made and the results indicated that there is a tendency towards a barcoding gap, but that the size of the gap may not be sufficient to robustly infer identities for some taxa. DNA barcoding may be of less use for some odonate taxa, perhaps pertaining to misidentifications in global databases. However, at local scales or with more confined taxonomical sampling, this tool may yet be beneficial in identifying these charismatic organisms.