DNA barcoding: A taxonomic point of view

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A taxonomic perspective of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) barcoding is presented here with respect to its use within the freshwater science community. The goals and methods of DNA barcoding and the criticisms leveled at the procedure by the taxonomic community are explained. The major goal of DNA-barcoding efforts is to aid identification of specimens by matching sequences to a sequence library. This goal is achievable, but barcoding efforts must be coupled with a much wider sampling regime and should be done with the full cooperation and collaboration of the taxonomic community. Through collaborative efforts, taxonomists and barcode advocates can build capacity for taxonomy and sequence the vast number of specimens needed to build a truly comprehensive barcode library for use by benthic scientists. Other barcoding goals, such as species diagnosis and biodiversity surveys, are more problematic, but solutions are possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-181
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the North American Benthological Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • DNA barcoding
  • aquatic insects
  • freshwater
  • macroinvertebrates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science


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