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      Use of DNA barcodes to identify flowering plants.

      Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

      Angiosperms, classification, cytology, genetics, Atropa belladonna, Automatic Data Processing, methods, Cell Nucleus, DNA, Chloroplast, DNA, Intergenic, DNA, Plant, Flowers, Genes, Plant, Molecular Sequence Data, Phylogeny, Plastids, Species Specificity, Tobacco

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          Abstract

          Methods for identifying species by using short orthologous DNA sequences, known as "DNA barcodes," have been proposed and initiated to facilitate biodiversity studies, identify juveniles, associate sexes, and enhance forensic analyses. The cytochrome c oxidase 1 sequence, which has been found to be widely applicable in animal barcoding, is not appropriate for most species of plants because of a much slower rate of cytochrome c oxidase 1 gene evolution in higher plants than in animals. We therefore propose the nuclear internal transcribed spacer region and the plastid trnH-psbA intergenic spacer as potentially usable DNA regions for applying barcoding to flowering plants. The internal transcribed spacer is the most commonly sequenced locus used in plant phylogenetic investigations at the species level and shows high levels of interspecific divergence. The trnH-psbA spacer, although short ( approximately 450-bp), is the most variable plastid region in angiosperms and is easily amplified across a broad range of land plants. Comparison of the total plastid genomes of tobacco and deadly nightshade enhanced with trials on widely divergent angiosperm taxa, including closely related species in seven plant families and a group of species sampled from a local flora encompassing 50 plant families (for a total of 99 species, 80 genera, and 53 families), suggest that the sequences in this pair of loci have the potential to discriminate among the largest number of plant species for barcoding purposes.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          15928076
          1142120
          10.1073/pnas.0503123102

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