Why DNA barcoding

DNA Barcoding supports classical methods beyond their borders


Sample type

In classical taxonomy, a complete, adult, and in many cases male, animal is usually needed for unambiguous identification. This is not the case with DNA barcoding. All stages and parts of an animal can be identified independently of gender.  It is possible, for example, to analyze eggs, larvae and even only parts of animals at species level.



In addition, most taxonomists have a geographic and taxonomic specialization that is irrelevant to DNA barcoding due to global and all-embracing databases. For example, a beetle specialist from the Alpine region might be able to overlook or misidentify a newly introduced species, as he has never had this species before, and he does not have the right literature for it. In DNA barcoding, such newly introduced species can not fall through the grid. The database data include worldwide entries of all groups of animals.


Furthermore, most specialists are busy for a long time, because they can not process the sheer amount of accumulating samples and individuals so fast. This routine "assembly line identification" does not pose a problem for DNA barcoding because in a single analysis, tens of thousands of individuals can be analyzed and identified simultaneously.


Taxonomic expertise is available digitally and can be coupled with genetic data. This enables a standardized evaluation and better comparability of data from e.g., different studies, years and regions.


With the aid of DNA barcoding, we can record the entire biodiversity - including "non-focus groups" and the "rest". In contrast to the classical studies, where for simplicity and lack of time mostly only individual groups of animals were in focus and thus only a tiny fraction of the total biodiversity could be recorded, with the help of DNA barcoding now the entire biodiversity can be grasped. Thus one can finally do justice to the diversity in biodiversity.



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