DNA barcoding in mammals: what's new and where next?
More details
Hide details
ZooPlantLab, Dipartimento di Biotecnologie e Bioscienze, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Piazza della Scienza 2, 20126 Milano
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra e dell’Ambiente, Università degli Studi di Pavia, Via Ferrata 1, 27100 Pavia
Publish date: 2015-07-14
Hystrix It. J. Mamm. 2015;26(1):13–24
DNA barcoding is a universal molecular identification system of living beings for which efficacy and universality have been largely demonstrated in the last decade in many contexts. It is common to link DNA barcoding to phylogenetic reconstruction, and there is indeed an overlap, but identification and phylogenetic positioning/classification are two different processes. In mammals, a better phylogenetic reconstruction, able to dig in fine details the relationships among biological entities, is really welcomed, but do we need DNA barcoding too? In our opinion, the answer is positive, but not only for the identification power, nor for the supposed ability of DNA barcoding to discover new species. We do need DNA barcoding because it is a modern tool, able to create an integrated system, in which it is possible to link the many aspects of the biology of living beings starting from their identification. With 7000 species estimated and a growing interest in knowledge, exploitation and conservation, mammals are one of the best animal groups to achieve this goal.
We organised our review to show how an integrative approach to taxonomy, leaded by DNA barcoding, can be effective in the twenty-first century identification and/or description of species.