Biodiversity of Philippine marine fishes: A DNA barcode reference library based on voucher specimens

Plectranthias inermis USNM 431978


Accurate identification of fishes is essential for understanding their biology and to ensure food safety for consumers. DNA barcoding is an important tool because it can verify identifications of both whole and processed fishes that have had key morphological characters removed (e.g., filets, fish meal); however, DNA reference libraries are incomplete, and public repositories for sequence data contain incorrectly identified sequences. During a nine-year sampling program in the Philippines, a global biodiversity hotspot for marine fishes, we developed a verified reference library of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) sequences for 2,525 specimens representing 984 species. Specimens were primarily purchased from markets, with additional diversity collected using rotenone or fishing gear. Species identifications were verified based on taxonomic, phenotypic, and genotypic data, and sequences are associated with voucher specimens, live-color photographs, and genetic samples catalogued at Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History. The Biodiversity of Philippine Marine Fishes dataset is released herein to increase knowledge of species diversity and distributions and to facilitate accurate identification of market fishes..

Scientific Data, 10(441)

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