Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tell me your barcode, and I will tell you what palm you are

Date:
December 30, 2013
Source:
Pensoft Publishers
Summary:
A short fragment of chloroplastic DNA as a "barcode" for species identification within a group of palm species, including the economically important date palm Phoenix dactylifera, has been proposed by researchers from IRD, France, and CRA-FSO, Italy. Species and hybrids recognition is important for the protection of endemic or rare species, as well as for preserving the genetic integrity of varieties. The study was published in a special issue of the open access journal ZooKeys.

This image shows Phoenix species and hybrids in the public gardens of the Municipality of Sanremo, Italy. Date palm P. dactylifera; Senegal date palm P. reclinata; Cretan date palm P. theophrasti; Cliff date palm P. rupicola; Pigmy date palm P. roebelenii; Hybrid between date palm (P. dactylifera) and Canary Islands date palm (P. canariensis).
Credit: Marco Ballardini and co-authors; CC-BY 4.0

Reliable and cost-effective species recognition is the dream of many scientists, and has important applications. While the use of morphological features is often uncertain, and can lead to misidentification, species identification based on the composition of short DNA sequences -the so-called "DNA barcodes"- has proven to be the safest way to reach this goal, both in animals and in many groups of plants.

Palms belonging to the genus Phoenix, including the economically-important date palm Phoenix dactylifera, i.e. the main fruit crop in North Africa and the Middle East, are amongst the groups of flowering plants characterized by difficulties in species discrimination based on their look. Moreover, given their high interfertility, they can easily hybridize whereas they come into contact, generating even more confusion for palm scientists.

To overcome such an issue, an international team of scientists examined a small region of chloroplast DNA, looking for a potential "barcode" for this group of plants. By screening over 130 palm individuals from 13 out of the 14 species of the genus Phoenix, they found enough variation in the composition of the DNA, to be able to identify correctly eight species out of 13, and more than 82% of the individuals. The study was published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

'It's a very encouraging result', said Marco Ballardini, a biologist at that time research assistant at the Consiglio per la Ricerca e la Sperimentazione in Agricoltura (CRA-FSO) in Sanremo, Italy, and first author of this study. 'Finding the appropriate DNA barcode for Phoenix palms has several practical applications, ranging from the conservation of endemic and/or endangered species, like the Canary Island date palm, or the Cretan date palm, to the identification of hybrids having an ornamental value'.

The identification of palm individuals at the species level, as well as the detection of hybrids, can also be very helpful for preserving the genetic characteristics. Consequently, as in the case of date palm, the fruit quality of cultivated stocks, is one of the most interesting returns of this kind of study.

'To achieve a 100% success in identifying Phoenix palms, we have to analyze a few more regions of DNA, especially in the case of closely related species. Moreover, as the chloroplast DNA is inherited only through the maternal lineage, DNA of paternal origin should also be taken into consideration, in order to detect all possible hybrids', concluded Ballardini.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Pensoft Publishers. The original story is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Marco Ballardini, Antonio Mercuri, Claudio Littardi, Summar Abbas, Marie Couderc, Bertha Ludeρa, Jean-Christophe Pintaud. The chloroplast DNA locus psbZ-trnfM as a potential barcode marker in Phoenix L. (Arecaceae). ZooKeys, 2013; 365: 71 DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.365.5725

Cite This Page:

Pensoft Publishers. "Tell me your barcode, and I will tell you what palm you are." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131230135042.htm>.
Pensoft Publishers. (2013, December 30). Tell me your barcode, and I will tell you what palm you are. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131230135042.htm
Pensoft Publishers. "Tell me your barcode, and I will tell you what palm you are." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131230135042.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

AP (July 22, 2014) — An 80-year-old agave plant, which is blooming for the first and only time at a University of Michigan conservatory, will die when it's done (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

AP (July 22, 2014) — Sounding alarms about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC Director Tom Frieden warned Tuesday if the global community does not confront the problem soon, the world will be living in a devastating post-antibiotic era. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins