Firstly, DNA sequencing has introduced a strategy of identifying organisms through DNA barcodes. The DNA barcodes resemble the Universal Product Codes (UPCs), which are unique to the consumer products they mark. The DNA barcoding procedure involves creating a specific tag on an organism’s DNA sequence, after which the code uniquely identifies the organisms. This procedure has been supported by the fact that every species has its DNA; hence a barcode attached to that species DNA can help identify and classify it. Another advantage of the barcodes is that they can help highlight the genetic differences at the molecular level, thus helping differentiate even organisms of the same species (Crona et al., 2017). The Biodiversity Research Institute of Ontario has dedicated itself to the development of barcoding requirements and also analysis of the various specimen. The institute has also managed to collect about 600,000 barcodes from the same number of species. One of the applications of DNA barcoding in classification and conservation is the research being conducted on beetles that are destroying potatoes and tomatoes in Colorado. The project will help classify the potato-eating and tomato-eating beetles hence differentiating these organisms.
The other reason DNA sequencing has high accuracy in the classification scheme is that it predicts the genetic diversity rather than the phenotypic relationships of organisms. The current classification scheme uses species names that only indicate the morphological traits of organisms that belong to the same species. The species do not predict the genetic diversity of organisms as they might be composed of very different or similar organisms. Conversely, DNA sequencing expresses genetic diversity regardless of the similarity between two organisms. Additionally, the current classification scheme shows ambiguity when at the phylogenetic nomenclature level. The current system depends on the present algorithms and genetic markers used to identify the phylogeny of various organisms. The presence of recombination markers always makes it difficult for scientists to determine an organism’s phylogeny (Marakeby et al., 2014). In the current DNA sequencing scheme, problems with phylogenetic classification are solved by using only a small number of carefully analyzed genes and correctly used to place organisms. DNA sequencing requires the comparison of the Average Nucleotide Identity (ANI) of various organisms to determine the phylogeny.
With DNA sequencing, the future of classification will change based on accuracy and even the number of the taxa present for variety. The application of DNA barcodes has helped identify the known relationships and similarities between organisms right from the family level to the organism level. Thus, molecular biology can offer a new approach that will include classifying life beyond the species level. The classification that molecular biology focuses on introducing puts the organism at the ultimate level instead of the species, which the current classification scheme considers the most basic unit (Marakeby et al., 2014). Generally, DNA sequencing and molecular biology will introduce intraspecific classification and a new naming system of biological organisms.
In conclusion, DNA sequencing focuses on classification at the molecular levels instead of the current classification scheme, which classifies organisms based on their morphologies at the organism’s level. The molecular type has proven to be more accurate than the morphological classification because of barcodes and the involvement of genetic diversity. The two components set molecular biology at a critical point in revolutionizing the taxonomy field as in the future intraspecific classification and naming will be introduced.
Celli, B. R., & Agustí, A. (2018). COPD: time to improve its taxonomy?. ERJ open research, 4(1). https://openres.ersjournals.com/content/erjor/4/1/00132-2017.full.pdf
Crona, J., Taïeb, D., & Pacak, K. (2017). New perspectives on pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma: toward a molecular classification. Endocrine Reviews, 38(6), 489-515. https://academic.oup.com/edrv/article/38/6/489/4064267
Marakeby, H., Badr, E., Torkey, H., Song, Y., Leman, S., Monteil, C. L., Heath, L. S., & Vinatzer, B. A. (2014). A system to automatically classify and name any individual genome-sequenced organism independently of current biological classification and nomenclature. PloS one, 9(2), e89142. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0089142