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Chemocoding as an identification tool where morphological- and DNA-based methods fall short: Inga as a case study
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-21, 11:15 authored by Endara, MJ, Coley, PD, Natasha WigginsNatasha Wiggins, Forrister, DL, Younkin, GC, Nicholls, JA, Pennington, RT, Dexter, KG, Kidner, CA, Stone, GN, Kursar, TA
- The need for species identification and taxonomic discovery has led to the development of innovative technologies for large-scale plant identification. DNA barcoding has been useful, but fails to distinguish among many species in species-rich plant genera, particularly in tropical regions. Here, we show that chemical fingerprinting, or 'chemocoding', has great potential for plant identification in challenging tropical biomes.
- Using untargeted metabolomics in combination with multivariate analysis, we constructed species-level fingerprints, which we define as chemocoding. We evaluated the utility of chemocoding with species that were defined morphologically and subject to next-generation DNA sequencing in the diverse and recently radiated neotropical genus Inga (Leguminosae), both at single study sites and across broad geographic scales.
- Our results show that chemocoding is a robust method for distinguishing morphologically similar species at a single site and for identifying widespread species across continental-scale ranges.
- Given that species are the fundamental unit of analysis for conservation and biodiversity research, the development of accurate identification methods is essential. We suggest that chemocoding will be a valuable additional source of data for a quick identification of plants, especially for groups where other methods fall short.
Publication titleNew Phytologist
PublisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
Rights statement© 2018 The Authors.