DNA Barcoding and the BOLD Database

1187 Words Feb 24th, 2018 5 Pages
Recently, scientists have developed a process called DNA barcoding. The result of DNA barcoding is a database of barcodes of species, made up of a sequence of nucleotides in specific genes. DNA barcoding is a relatively new process that isolates a section of a mitochondrial gene and amplifies it, allowing scientists to sequence the order of nucleotide bases in a certain gene, the organism’s “barcode.” The mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase 1 gene (CO1) is used for animals. It codes for a protein that is a part of the electron transport chain, which is used by every species during oxidative phosphorylation in cellular respiration. Every organism has a unique CO1 gene, but organisms that are within the same families will have more similar genes. Thus, by looking at a sequence of nucleotides in the CO1 gene, scientists can identify and categorize species. Each DNA barcode is registered in the Barcode of Life Database (BOLD) under its respective species, and barcodes are being continually added to this database by scientists on the grassroots level. This allows easy and fast identification of species with no expert knowledge of the species required. The old Linnaean system of taxonomy is now outdated, replaced by this revolutionary new way to identify organisms. Today, scientists are utilizing the DNA barcoding process to answer a…

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