A DNA barcode survey of insect biodiversity in Pakistan
Research output: Contribution to journal › Journal article › peer-review
Final published version, 10.8 MB, PDF document
Although Pakistan has rich biodiversity, many groups are poorly known, particularly insects. To address this gap, we employed DNA barcoding to survey its insect diversity. Specimens obtained through diverse collecting methods at 1,858 sites across Pakistan from 2010-2019 were examined for sequence variation in the 658 bp barcode region of the cytochrome c oxidase 1 (COI) gene. Sequences from nearly 49,000 specimens were assigned to 6,590 Barcode Index Numbers (BINs), a proxy for species, and most (88%) also possessed a representative image on the Barcode of Life Data System (BOLD). By coupling morphological inspections with barcode matches on BOLD, every BIN was assigned to an order (19) and most (99.8%) were placed to a family (362). However, just 40% of the BINs were assigned to a genus (1,375) and 21% to a species (1,364). Five orders (Coleoptera, Diptera, Hemiptera, Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera) accounted for 92% of the specimens and BINs. More than half of the BINs (59%) are so far only known from Pakistan, but others have also been reported from Bangladesh (13%), India (12%), and China (8%). Representing the first DNA barcode survey of the insect fauna in any South Asian country, this study provides the foundation for a complete inventory of the insect fauna in Pakistan while also contributing to the global DNA barcode reference library.
|Number of pages||19|
|Publication status||Published - 2022|
© 2022 Ashfaq et al.