An Introduction to Barcoding - 3.

DNA

  • Some parts of the genome tend to be highly conserved even between distantly related species because they determine functions that are essential for life
  • Other regions are specific to each species
 
Barcoding is a standardized approach to identify plants and animals by minimal sequences of DNA, called DNA barcodes.

 
DNA Barcode: A short DNA sequence, that is easily identified, but whose exact sequence is characteristic of individual species

Why barcode animal and plant species?

Most unknown species are small nearly microscopic organisms, many are vital for the environment. Many cryptic species (those that look very similar to other species) are not yet recognized