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- JBS-L - Josselyn Botanical Society discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
JUDY KEVIN KANE <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 30 Jan 2008 17:28:35 -0500
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- JBS-L - Josselyn Botanical Society discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
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Hi JBS memebers,  Here is our son's view of field bar code 
identification--he just received his Phd in plant genetics!  Maybe he will 
see it used some day.  Kevin Kane

>From: Nolan Kane <[log in to unmask]>
>To: kevinjudy <[log in to unmask]>
>CC: Ailene Kane <[log in to unmask]>,               Subject: Re: Fw: 
>(JBS-L) Re: General Comments - article in Natural History
>Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2008 10:48:24 -0800
>Hi Mom and Dad,
>Well, I also have my doubts about DNA bar coding for plants.  In animals, 
>it turns out to be practical to sequence just a single, short gene, and 
>that gene provides enough information do identify most species (although it 
>can't always distinguish between very closely related species, and usually 
>not varieties of the same species).  In plants, though, the technique would 
>have to rely on several different genes, because nobody has found a single 
>gene that would work by itself - genes either evolve to rapidly or too 
>slowly.  Nevertheless, people are indeed making progress by sequencing 
>multiple genes.  One problem that isn't being dealt with at all by the bar 
>coding people is that hybridization is very common in many plant groups.  
>All the current efforts involve only chloroplast DNA sequence.  Chloroplast 
>DNA is easy to sequence, but it can't be used to identify hybrids, which 
>could be an important limitation.  For instance, Loren has found some 
>populations of /Helianthus petiolaris/ that appear to be purely /H. 
>petiolaris/ in their nuclear DNA, but have a chloroplast from /H. annuus/.  
>These populations would be mis-identified by bar-coding using chloroplasts, 
>of course. Still, the approach is interesting.  For the near future, there 
>is little hope of anyone using anything like a bar-code scanner - instead, 
>people will have to sequence a gene or genes in a lab, and look for 
>identical or highly similar sequences to find out which species it came 
>from.  Of course, that in itself will be a useful advance for many of the 
>applications described in the article.  It just won't be very useful for 
>immediately identifying something in the field.  However, once we have all 
>of the sequence data for enough species, a device that could identify 
>species in the field is at least theoretically possible - it would just be 
>very expensive, cumbersome, slow and technically challenging to operate.  
>Kind of like a key, only much worse.  So, I wouldn't throw out those keys 
>kevinjudy wrote:
>>Hi Botanists, you probably saw this article in Natural History--I am 
>>skeptical about bar coding accurately in my lifetime!!  Ailene--I forgot 
>>to say many people asked about you at the Chenopodium meeting (Barbara, 
>>Charlie, Matt, Arthur, Eric, Don Lacey)----- we all  miss you.  love kk
>>From: "Kathy Bilton" <[log in to unmask]>
>>Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2008 12:13 PM
>>To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>Subject: (JBS-L) Re: General Comments - article in Natural History
>>>FYI - I see that that article happens to be online:
>>>Today, at about 11:28, Garret VanWart averred:
>>>:Second- The March issue of Natural History  has an interesting article 
>>>"Bar Coding for Botany" The jist is that in the future plants, even their 
>>>fragments, will be identified by species using DNA bar coding. WOW! Does 
>>>this mean no more pesky keys and field guides? No longer would just a few 
>>>professionals and amateurs have the knowledge of a plant's name. A simple 
>>>test in the field may be used for IDing. This leads me to inquire if we 
>>>might consider having a work shop or perhaps a guest speaker at JBS this 
>>>summer regarding this subject. I, for one, would like to learn more about 
>>>using DNA  testing. This has, of course, has been readily available for 
>>>the human geome project,  and now the All Birds Barcoding Initiative is 
>>>under way with a goal of 10,000 known species by 2010.
>>>:I'd be interested in any thoughts you all may have, and do check out 
>>>Natural History March 2007
>>>:Garry VanWart
>>>:[log in to unmask]