Efficiency of DNA Barcodes for Identification and Documenting Aquatic Insect Diversity in Rice Fields
Rapid and accurate identifications are crucial for biodiversity assessment. Yet, traditional methods for species identification have some limitations. In this study, we tested the efficiency of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I barcoding sequences for species identification and documenting diversity of aquatic insects in the rice fields of Thailand. Considerable success rate (80%) for species identification was found among the species of the order Odonata. Unidentifiable specimens of immatures were successfully associated with conspecific adults or by matching with reference sequences in the public DNA barcoding library. However, some specimens were ambiguous, possibly due to incomplete lineage sorting of closely related species or erroneous identification of the sequences in the public database. The technique was less successful for other insect orders because a lack of reference sequences in the DNA barcode library limits the utility of DNA barcoding. The Poisson tree process and Automatic Barcode Gap Discovery species delimitations revealed that the number of species recognized is more than twice that based on morphological identification. Therefore, DNA barcoding has potential for use in species identification and biodiversity assessment of the aquatic insects in the rice field ecosystem.
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