Wajiha Shakil (2012-VA-817)

Genetic Characterization Of Pakistani Wild Quails Using Mitochondrial Coi Gene - 2015 - 102p.;

A latest taxonomic tool termed as DNA barcoding is being used to genetically characterize animals. DNA barcoding is helpful in determining evolutionary relationship among species. Being a small sized genome and agile enough to show rapid mutation, mtDNA has been used as a pertinent marker of molecular biodiversity. DNA barcode works as an efficient tool in food manufacturing industry, diet investigation, forensics analysis, preventing unlawful trade and felonious poaching. The aim of this study was to develop DNA barcode for genetic characterization of Pakistani wild quail. Pakistani wild quail is important due to its demand for eggs, meat production, experimental purposes and gaming as well. Japanese quail was also included in this study because this quail is excessively produced in Pakistani farms. Japanese quail is present throughout the year and is comparatively bigger in size than wild quail. It has longer lifespan; farmers can easily breed this species in farms. It is suitable in poultry due to better meat yield.
COI gene (500bp) was used as a molecular marker for identification at species level. DNA was extracted from blood samples of ten wild quails (Coturnix coturnix and fifteen japanese quails (Coturnix japonica). Reported bird universal primers were used to amplify COI region from the extracted mtDNA samples using PCR. Amplicon were then sequenced by Sanger sequencing method (Sanger et al. 1977). Forward and reverse DNA Sequences were aligned with the reference sequence using nucleotide BLAST on NCBI to observe the dissimilarity among the sequences. Consensus sequences generated were used to construct their phylogenetic tree to see their evolutionary relationship with other bird species. Japanese quail which is thought to be domesticated from Japan, its Pakistani population showed close relation with sequences
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generated in Japan for this particular species. Pakistani wild quail species showed its closest linkage with C. coturnix.
In conclusion, COI barcode proved as an authentic tool for species identification and phylogenetic inference of Pakistani wild and farm grown quails. Wild quail species has been characterized using partial COI gene sequences. This study has provided a specific genetic marker which can differentiate Japanese quail from wild quail at molecular level as most of the time both species are confused with each other. It can be helpful to the farmers and bird fanciers because they can select the birds of their choice correctly. This is the first study reporting DNA barcode of this Pakistani quail species. It would help researchers to study about phylogenetic and taxonomic status and also assist quail fanciers and quail farmers to unaffectedly identify their species of interest in farming. Identification of quail species is also important for conservation of biodiversity as it helps in preservation and identification of endangered species by generating their barcodes from even minimal evidence available.


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