JUNAGADH: Marine biotechnology scientists in Gujarat have discovered 10 new species of fishes including one that has been recorded for the first time in the world. The new species were discovered in the first-ever discovered in the first-ever major exercise to map and DNA barcode all the fish species that are found along the state's 1,600 km coastline. Scientists say the mapping will help create amassive data base of all the fish species along with their DNA barcode, which will ultimately come handy in conserving the marine biodiversity of Gujarat. The exercise is being conducted by the Junagadh Agriculture University (JAU)'s department of biotechnology in collaboration with the department of aquaculture of the College of Fisheries Science in Veraval. According to the data of Gujarat Bio-diversity Board, there are estimated 606 species of fish found in the state of which 487 are marine and 119 are freshwater fishes."The Spiny Loach fish found in Veraval has been reported for the first time in the world. We have successfully barcoded the DNA of Loach as well as nine other species that were seen for the first time in India. In all, we have barcoded 84 species of marine fishes along the Veraval coastline," said S I Yusufzai, head, department of aquaculture, who is leading the research team. "The biggest success is that Spiny Loach is now placed in the Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) database a global reference library of DNA barcodes that can be used to assign identities to unknown species," he said. Dr Yusufzai said that each and every specie of marine fish will get a DNA barcode. The research project 'Mapping of marine fish biodiversity along the Veraval coast using MtDNA barcoding' was funded by the Gujarat State Biotechnology Mission (GSBTM). "The barcoding of marine fish will help create a huge data base of Gujarat's fish species biodiversity that will ultimately help in conservation efforts," said Dr BI Golakia, head of department of biotechnology, JAU.
What is DNA barcoding?
DNA barcoding is a new system to identify and discover species. This is done by using a small section of DNA from a standardized region of the genome. The DNA sequence is useful in identify different species. An analogy can be drawn with the scanners in supermarkets that identify the barcodes written in black stripes of every product.