2024(3)      July - September, 2024

DNA barcoding reveals arthropod diversity and unveils seasonal patterns of variation in Quetta region, Pakistan

Hina Ali Ahmed1, Nazeer Ahmed2, Shahjahan Shabbir Ahmed2, Shagufta Saddozai1, Afroz Rais3,

Imran Ali Sani2, Dawood Shahid2, Shahbaz Khan4*

1Department of Zoology, Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University, Quetta, Pakistan

2Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Life Sciences, BUITEMS, Quetta, Pakistan

3Department of Botany, Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University, Quetta, Pakistan

4Colorado Water Center, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523, USA


Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequencing is an emerging approach for revealing species diversity that has made species identification possible. This technique is an amazing and useful tool for studies in taxonomy, evolutionary biology, and biodiversity. Sequences of DNA can be used as genetic “barcodes” which could be used to  identify all animals, including insects. True flies, belonging to the order Diptera, are widely distributed and crucial components of ecosystems worldwide. Despite the rich biodiversity of Pakistan, our knowledge of various insect groups particularly flies remains limited. The current study was conducted in Quetta, Pakistan, from June 2017 to May 2018, to use DNA barcoding technique for the determination of the diversity of flies (658 bp sequence from the 5′-end of cytochrome oxidase I). Our analysis focused on a specific region of the cytochrome c oxidase 1 (COI) gene, known as the barcode region which provides valuable information for inferring evolutionary relationships and identifying species. The obtained sequences of 2,195 fly specimens were then compared and matched against the Barcode of Life Data System (BOLD), which assigned the specimens to 309 Barcode Index Numbers (BINs), which operates as a counterpart in the BOLD database. Among the families identified, Muscidae was the most dominant, with 283 specimens, followed by Cecidomyiidae with 184 specimens, and Ceratopogonidae with 164 specimens. A total 82 number of species were identified with Tricimba humeralis with the maximum catch.

Keywords: Arthropod, BOLD, Barcode index number, Biodiversity, Cytochrome c oxidase I, DNA barcoding

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