DNA barcoding of Masdevallia orchids using the matK locus
|McFadyen, David A.
|Presented on April 23, 2018 at Student Research Day held at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta.
|Maintaining global biodiversity is becoming more of a focus as the quality of this biodiversity declines. Conservation efforts need to be targeted at areas where this loss of biodiversity is most critical. Orchids are a family of plant facing significant survival pressures. Masdevallia is a genus of neotropical orchids which is poorly represented in orchid studies. When not flowering, individuals of this genus are morphologically indistinguishable from each other. DNA barcoding will assist in targeting conservation efforts by genetically identifying unknown species in threatened ecosystems. Many different loci in the orchid genome have been examined for use as a barcode, and the matK locus has had the best results. The objective of this study is to use the matK locus to create a DNA barcoding system which distinguishes between individuals of the Masdevallia genus. DNA has been isolated from samples and PCR has been done to amplify the matK locus. PCR products were sequenced using ABI sequencing, and the resulting sequences were aligned to create a phylogenetic tree. This tree contains unedited sequencing data, so while not conclusive, it indicates that this DNA barcoding system is sufficient to distinguish between samples at the species level. This will contribute to a DNA library, so unknown orchid individuals may be better identified in threatened ecosystems.
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|DNA barcoding of Masdevallia orchids using the matK locus