Data from: A comprehensive DNA barcode database for Central European beetles with a focus on Germany: adding more than 3,500 identified species to BOLD
Morinière, Jérôme et al. (2014), Data from: A comprehensive DNA barcode database for Central European beetles with a focus on Germany: adding more than 3,500 identified species to BOLD, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.gg8fg
Beetles are the most diverse group of animals and are crucial for ecosystem functioning. In many countries, they are well established for environmental impact assessment, but even in the well-studied Central European fauna, species identification can be very difficult. A comprehensive and taxonomically well-curated DNA barcode library could remedy this deficit and could also link hundreds of years of traditional knowledge with next generation sequencing technology. However, such a beetle library is missing to date. This study provides the globally largest DNA barcode reference library for Coleoptera for 15 948 individuals belonging to 3514 well-identified species (53% of the German fauna) with representatives from 97 of 103 families (94%). This study is the first comprehensive regional test of the efficiency of DNA barcoding for beetles with a focus on Germany. Sequences ≥500 bp were recovered from 63% of the specimens analysed (15 948 of 25 294) with short sequences from another 997 specimens. Whereas most specimens (92.2%) could be unambiguously assigned to a single known species by sequence diversity at CO1, 1089 specimens (6.8%) were assigned to more than one Barcode Index Number (BIN), creating 395 BINs which need further study to ascertain if they represent cryptic species, mitochondrial introgression, or simply regional variation in widespread species. We found 409 specimens (2.6%) that shared a BIN assignment with another species, most involving a pair of closely allied species as 43 BINs were involved. Most of these taxa were separated by barcodes although sequence divergences were low. Only 155 specimens (0.97%) show identical or overlapping clusters.