Identifying Canadian freshwater fish through DNA barcodes

June 18, 2008

New research by Canadian scientists, led by Nicolas Hubert at the Université Laval in Québec and published in this week's PLoS ONE brings some good news for those interested in the conservation of a number of highly-endangered species of Canadian fish.

The use of DNA for automated species-level identification of earth biodiversity has recently moved from being an unreachable dream to a potential reality in the very near future. The potential of mitochondrial DNA in achieving this target has been successfully assessed for all of the Canadian freshwater fish communities and the approach bears some very exciting promise.

The Consortium for the Barcode of Life (CBOL) and the Canadian Barcoding of Life network recently assessed the potential of the Barcode region in diagnosing the entire freshwater fish communities of Canada and Alaska in the context of the fish worldwide campaign.

Hubert and colleagues sampled and barcoded 1360 individuals from 190 species belonging to 27 families and 20 orders and showed that Barcodes are effective for species-level identifications in 93% of the case.

In front of the economic importance and identification challenges associated with fishes, this represents a considerable advance for conservation practices and open new perspectives in ecology.

Citation: Hubert N, Hanner R, Holm E, Mandrak NE, Taylor E, et al. (2008) Identifying Canadian Freshwater Fishes through DNA Barcodes. PLoS ONE 3(6): e2490.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002490

Source: Public Library of Science

Explore further: Cod bones from Mary Rose reveal globalized fish trade in Tudor England

Related Stories

Why we still collect butterflies

June 11, 2015

Who doesn't love butterflies? While most people won't think twice about destroying a wasp nest on the side of the house, spraying a swarm of ants in the driveway, or zapping pesky flies at an outdoor barbecue, few would intentionally ...

Warming leads to more run-ins with polar bears

December 19, 2014

Word spread quickly: a polar bear, then two, were spotted near this remote Inuit village on the shores of Hudson Bay, about 1,800 kilometers (1,120 miles) north of Montreal.

Recommended for you

The topolariton, a new half-matter, half-light particle

October 7, 2015

A new type of "quasiparticle" theorized by Caltech's Gil Refael, a professor of theoretical physics and condensed matter theory, could help improve the efficiency of a wide range of photonic devices—technologies, such as ...

Perfectly accurate clocks turn out to be impossible

October 7, 2015

Can the passage of time be measured precisely, always and everywhere? The answer will upset many watchmakers. A team of physicists from the universities of Warsaw and Nottingham have just shown that when we are dealing with ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.