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COI barcoding of true bugs (Insecta, Heteroptera)

Authors

  • SUNGHOON JUNG,

    1. Laboratory of Insect Biosystematics, Division of Entomology, Research Institute for Agricultural and Life Sciences, School of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University, San 56-1 Shilim-dong, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 151-742, Korea
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  • RAM K. DUWAL,

    1. Laboratory of Insect Biosystematics, Division of Entomology, Research Institute for Agricultural and Life Sciences, School of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University, San 56-1 Shilim-dong, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 151-742, Korea
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  • SEUNGHWAN LEE

    1. Laboratory of Insect Biosystematics, Division of Entomology, Research Institute for Agricultural and Life Sciences, School of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University, San 56-1 Shilim-dong, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 151-742, Korea
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Seunghwan Lee, Fax: +82 2 873 2319; E-mail: seung@snu.ac.kr

Abstract

Several recent studies have proposed that partial DNA sequences of the cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) mitochondrial gene might serve as DNA barcodes for identifying and differentiating between animal species, such as birds, fish and insects. In this study, we tested the effectiveness of a COI barcode to identify true bugs from 139 species collected from Korea and adjacent regions (Japan, Northeastern China and Fareast Russia). All the species had a unique COI barcode sequence except for the genus Apolygus (Miridae), and the average interspecific genetic distance between closely related species was about 16 times higher than the average intraspecific genetic distance. DNA barcoding identified one probable new species of true bug and revealed identical or very recently divergent species that were clearly distinguished by morphological characteristics. Therefore, our results suggest that COI barcodes can reveal new cryptic true bug species and are able to contribute for the exact identification of the true bugs.

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