Molecular barcoding of venomous snakes and species-specific multiplex PCR assay to identify snake groups for which antivenom is available in Thailand
Genetics and Molecular Research
DNA barcodes of mitochondrial COI and Cytb genes were constructed from 54 specimens of 16 species for species identification. Intra-and interspecific sequence divergence of the COI gene (10 times) was greater than that of the Cytb gene (4 times), which suggests that the 13982 A. Supikamolseni et al. ©FUNPEC-RP www.funpecrp.com.br Genetics and Molecular Research 14 (4): 13981-13997 (2015) former gene may be a better marker than the latter for species delimitation in snakes. The COI barcode
... e COI barcode cut-off scores differed by more than 3% between most species, and the minimum interspecific divergence was greater than the maximum intraspecific divergence. Clustering analysis indicated that most species fell into monophyletic clades. These results suggest that these species could be reliably differentiated using COI DNA barcodes. Moreover, a novel species-specific multiplex PCR assay was developed to distinguish between Naja spp, Ophiophagus hannah, Trimeresurus spp, Hydrophiinae, Daboia siamensis, Bungarus fasciatus, and Calloselasma rhodostoma. Antivenom for these species is produced and kept by the Thai Red Cross for clinical use. Our novel PCR assay could easily be applied to venom and saliva samples and could be used effectively for the rapid and accurate identification of species during forensic work, conservation study, and medical research.