DNA barcoding in some Belarusian insects

  • Sergey E. Dromashko
  • Alexey A. Semianiak
  • Nina A. Balashenko
Keywords: DNA barcoding, butterflies, beetles, caddisflies, Belarusian populations


Due to a number of factors in the anthropogenic load on ecosystems, environmental changes, and competition between native and invasive species, the loss of species diversity has currently risen to an alarming scale. One of the prospective approaches to remedy the current state and halt the loss is the international project “Barcode of Life”. The report describes the results of molecular genetic research on the insect representatives of such orders as Coleoptera (beetles), Lepidoptera (butterflies), and Trichoptera (caddisflies) using the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 of the mitochondrial region (COI). We proposed a technique for the sampling of biological material to isolate DNA from the hind legs of individuals. The technique prevents removal of the individuals of the most valuable species collected on the territory of the Republic of Belarus from their habitats. The DNA sample collection of order representatives was investigated. For the subfamily Cetoniinae (flower chafer), significant differences in haplotypes among the representatives of the Belarusian and European parts of their areal were found. For Trichoptera, it was shown that the COI gene has high variability to differentiate species. It was also revealed that some species of caddisflies, which Belarusian researchers believe to be synonymous ones, have sequences with big differences according to the BoldSystem database. This fact should be explored in the future. So, our analysis allows considering the COI gene as a satisfactory marker for the species identification in the Belarusian insects’ taxa studied.