Academy of Finland
Funding decision
Name Mutanen, Marko
Organisation OY
Project title
Towards next-generation taxonomy: a genomic perspective on patterns of mitochondrial DNA variation
Decision No. 277984
Decision date 14.05.2014
Funding period 01.09.2014 - 31.08.2018
Funding 569 000
WebFOCUS Report
Project description
Species as a taxonomic unit has an important role both in biological research and many areas of human society. Species identification and delimitation are, however, major challenges, as species are numerous and often hard to tell apart from each other. The idea of DNA barcoding, a standardized DNA based identification of species, was presented in 2003. Massive DNA barcode libraries have been built since then. In this project, poorly understood but frequently observed patterns of DNA barcodes were studied using genomic approaches. It was observed that barcodes indeed reveal cases of cryptic diversity, although large intraspecific variation in barcodes is not always indication of that. Similarity of barcodes between species, in turn, may result from various biological processes, but also operational factors, such as oversplitting of species. With modern powerful genomic methods, both identification and delimitation of species could be done with unprecedented accuracy and speed.