DNA Barcoding Wild Flora in Pakistan’s ForestsPreserving voucher specimens and creating a virtual herbarium to understand and protect some of the oldest living trees on the planet.
The Juniper forest of Ziarat, Balochistan, declared a UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve, is considered one of the world’s largest compact forests of its kind spreading over an area of 100,000 ha. Being some of the oldest living trees on earth, they are termed “Living Fossils”. The Chilgoza (Pinus gerardiana), also known as the Chilgoza Pine, on the other hand, are listed as lower risk, near threatened forest. Anthropogenic interferences have further aggravated the situation in this ecosystem and a more focused study about their current status is needed.
Fragmented studies exist attempting to document the associated flora of these forests; however, a more comprehensive approach is needed. The use of DNA barcoding techniques, duly augmented by classical taxonomy, is necessary for the creation of a reference library to inventory, assess, and describe the biodiversity of these forests. To fill this gap, a study was designed to provide a foundation for future biodiversity assessment and conservation efforts.
Funded by Pakistan Agricultural Research Council and Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, our research group at the Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering & Management Sciences, Quetta is expecting to barcode and acquire samples of approximately 1,000 wild plant species.
To date, 730 samples of 525 different species have been collected and 29% (150 of 525) have been barcoded. Besides maintaining voucher specimens, a virtual herbarium will be made available to the global scientific community interested in the flora of these forest ecosystems.
Read more about Pakistan:
SMALL STEPS LEAD TO BIG INITIATIVES: PAKISTAN REAFFIRMS SUPPORT FOR IBOL BY LAUNCHING PAKBOL
From economically important insect species to plants to food security, Pakistani researchers are working to barcode all life in their country through a national initiative – PakBOL.
UNIVERSITY OF SINDH JAMSHORO BARCODES GRASSHOPPERS IN PAKISTAN’S THAR DESERT
Tracking the shift of non-pests to crop pests, a phenomenon accelerated by anthropogenic pressures in the Thar Desert.
Balochistan University of Information Technology, Quetta, Pakistan
Don't Miss Out!
Subscribe to the iBOL Barcode Bulletin for updates on DNA barcoding efforts, the iBOL Consortium, and more.
comment on this article
The Barcode Bulletin moderates comments to promote an informed and courteous conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, or incoherent comments will be rejected.