DNA Barcoding of Birds in the University of the Philippines Diliman Campus, with Emphasis on Striated Grassbirds Megalurus palustris
Adrian U. Luczon*, Andrew F. Torres, Jonas P. Quilang,
Perry S. Ong and Ian Kendrich C. Fontanilla*
Institute of Biology, University of the Philippines Diliman,
Diliman, Quezon City 1101, Philippines
DNA barcoding is increasingly being used by researchers across the globe to aid in the identification of species. Using this taxonomic tool on bird species in an urban green space within Manila, i.e. the University of the Philippines Diliman campus, Luzon, Philippines, DNA barcodes of eleven species were generated. Different haplotypes for some of the species were observed. Using BLAST, the cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI) sequence of every species from this study was correctly matched with the corresponding species having a COI record in Genbank, with the exception of the Striated Grassbird Megalurus palustris, which is a new COI record. The three distinct haplotypes for M. palustris were then compared with COI sequences from other members of the sylviid “Old World Warblers” to determine the effectiveness of the DNA barcode in discriminating it with other species. Results show that COI was successful in placing M. palustris as a distinct taxon.
Taxonomy plays a key role in any biological study. Any experiment addressing scientific problems involving a taxon must first ascertain the correct identification of that taxon. Even today when there is an explosion in the number of species being discovered, morphology alone sometimes is unable to discriminate between species (Packer et al. 2009). DNA barcode profiles were developed as a taxonomic tool to address this limitation. . . . . . . . . . . . .
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