News
24/7/2015

IBE (CSIC-UPF): DNA suggests that the diversity of European butterflies could be seriously underestimated

IBE (CSIC-UPF): DNA suggests that the diversity of European butterflies could be seriously underestimated


News from IBE (CSIC-UPF)


Scientists from the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC-UPF) have obtained the DNA sequences of the 228 known butterfly species in the Iberian peninsula and compared it to available data for Europe. The DNA sequences obtained suggest that up to 28% of species could be totally new to science. This week appears the first map of the genetic biodiversity of butterflies of the Iberian peninsula.

The work has been led by Roger Vila, a CSIC scientist at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (Institut de Biologia Evolutiva-IBE) a joint center of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the University Pompeu Fabra (UPF). The work is published in the Scientific Reports magazine (Nature Publishing Group).

Since 2006, the team of researchers has sequenced the mitochondrial DNA of all the known species of butterflies in the Iberian peninsula (228) and its main populations. The result is a report that compiles more than 3500 genetic sequences of all the species, which have been compared to the genetic sequences of other European populations. The paper, which has as a first author Vlad Dinca, a researcher of the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC-UPF), has 277 pages of supplementary material, including pictures and 80 maps of the geographical distribution of the butterfly genetic lineages identified.

More information:
IBE news

Reference:
Dinca, V., Montagud, S., Talavera, G., Hernández-Roldán, J., Munguira, M.L., García-Barros, E., Hebert, P.D.N. & Vila, R. (2015) DNA barcode reference library for Iberian butterflies enables a continental-scale preview of potential cryptic diversity. Scientific Reports (accepted).