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DNA barcoding: An exercise in futility or utility?

By K Aravind, G Ravikanth, R Uma Shaanker, K Chandrashekara, ARV Kumar and KN Ganeshaiah


Taxonomy, the science of naming and classifying organisms, is the foundation of all biology. Unfortunately, over the past few decades, taxonomy is being completely overshadowed by seemingly spectacular\ud and glamorous branches of biology.However, in the last few years some of these subjects such as molecular biology have rejuvenated taxonomy as a fashionable\ud science once again. The advent of powerful DNA-based marker systems for identifying species has brought back the charm of 18th century biology and promises a less painstaking path for identification and discovery of new species on the ‘PCR-desk’ by ‘lay-taxonomists’ who\ud need not necessarily be ‘naturalists’.DNA barcoding, a tool that obtains species specific DNA signature, is based on the simple premise that sequence diversity within small stretches of the organism’s genome can provide a ‘biological barcode’ to enable identification of any organism at the species level1,2. As a result,scientists are hoping that DNA barcoding will provide a ‘universal key’ that will allow identification of a species by running unknown DNA sequences through a DNA barcode database

Topics: G Journal Papers
Publisher: Indian Academy of Sciences
Year: 2007
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Provided by: ePrints@ATREE
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