The use of mitochondrial DNA genes to identify closely related avian species

Sansook Boonseub, Shanan S. Tobe, Adrian M.T. Linacre

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Species identification using mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) loci is a standard method for mammalian species testing. Less is understood about the conservation and variability in the avian mitochondrial genome, yet many exotic bird species are threatened with extinction and are traded illegally. In this study 80 different avian species were chosen from 22 different Orders and their gene sequences for the cytochrome b, cytochrome oxidase I and the ND2 genes were obtained from the NCBI web site. Alignments of the sequence determined the areas of greatest variation and conservation. The alignment result of DNA sequence showed that the cytochrome b gene placed the most number of avian species into their appropriate Orders, ND2 was next closest and COI the poorest of the three loci. These data support the use of cytochrome b over the other two mitochondrial loci for avian species identification.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-277
Number of pages3
JournalForensic Science International: Genetics Supplement Series
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009
Event23rd Congress of the International Society for Forensic Genetics - Buenos Aires, Argentina
Duration: 15 Sep 200918 Sep 2009


  • mitochondrial DNA
  • avian species
  • avian identification
  • taxonomy
  • cytochrome oxidase I

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