Comparison of Species Identification Methods: DNA Barcoding versus Morphological Taxonomy

Friedheim, Sophie
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In the field of biological sciences, there are several methods of species identification that are commonly used today. The purpose of this paper is to analyze two of the most popular methods, morphological taxonomy and DNA species barcoding, and to determine which is the most accurate method. DNA Barcoding uses molecular information to classify species, whereas morphological taxonomy uses morphology, and phenotypic characteristics to distinguish between one species and another. It is of great concern to traditional morphological taxonomists that DNA species identification is taking the place of morphological taxonomy, and that this genomic method is not adequate enough to properly do so. To help the spread information regarding species identification, and to reduce the discrepancies within the evolutionary biology community, it is essential that there is a globally accepted method of species identification. Throughout this paper, we address to positives and negatives of both methods, and find that where one method lacks, the other makes up for it. In the conclusion, we suggests that both methods should be used in unison to provide the most efficient, effective, and accurate species identification.
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