DNA barcode analysis of butterfly species from Pakistan points towards regional endemism
Article first published online: 24 JUN 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Molecular Ecology Resources published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Molecular Ecology Resources
Volume 13, Issue 5, pages 832–843, September 2013
How to Cite
Ashfaq, M., Akhtar, S., Khan, A. M., Adamowicz, S. J. and Hebert, P. D. N. (2013), DNA barcode analysis of butterfly species from Pakistan points towards regional endemism. Molecular Ecology Resources, 13: 832–843. doi: 10.1111/1755-0998.12131
- Issue published online: 12 AUG 2013
- Article first published online: 24 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 28 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 24 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Received: 23 FEB 2013
- HEC. Grant Numbers: 20-1403/R& D/09, 106106-001
- Government of Canada
- COI ;
DNA barcodes were obtained for 81 butterfly species belonging to 52 genera from sites in north-central Pakistan to test the utility of barcoding for their identification and to gain a better understanding of regional barcode variation. These species represent 25% of the butterfly fauna of Pakistan and belong to five families, although the Nymphalidae were dominant, comprising 38% of the total specimens. Barcode analysis showed that maximum conspecific divergence was 1.6%, while there was 1.7–14.3% divergence from the nearest neighbour species. Barcode records for 55 species showed <2% sequence divergence to records in the Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD), but only 26 of these cases involved specimens from neighbouring India and Central Asia. Analysis revealed that most species showed little incremental sequence variation when specimens from other regions were considered, but a threefold increase was noted in a few cases. There was a clear gap between maximum intraspecific and minimum nearest neighbour distance for all 81 species. Neighbour-joining cluster analysis showed that members of each species formed a monophyletic cluster with strong bootstrap support. The barcode results revealed two provisional species that could not be clearly linked to known taxa, while 24 other species gained their first coverage. Future work should extend the barcode reference library to include all butterfly species from Pakistan as well as neighbouring countries to gain a better understanding of regional variation in barcode sequences in this topographically and climatically complex region.