Current progress in DNA barcoding and future implications for entomology


Utsugi Jinbo, Department of General Systems Studies, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 3-8-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8902, Japan. Email:


DNA barcoding is a technique for identifying organisms based on a short, standardized fragment of genomic DNA. The standardized sequence region is called a DNA barcode because it is like a barcode tag for each taxon. Since the proposition of this concept and the launch of a large project named the Barcode of Life, this simple technique has attracted attention from taxonomists, ecologists, conservation biologists, agriculturists, plant-quarantine officers and others, and the number of studies using the DNA barcode has rapidly increased. The extreme diversity of insects and their economical, epidemiological and agricultural importance have made this group a major target of DNA barcoding. However, there is some controversy about the utility of DNA barcoding. In this review, we present an overview of DNA barcoding and its application to entomology. We also introduce current advances and future implications of this promising technique.