Molecular Characterization of Ruminant Mammals Using DNA Barcodes

  • Muniyandi Nagarajan
  • Koodali Nimisha
  • Subhash Thomas


Ruminant mammals are widely distributed across the world and distinguished from other mammals by the presence of four-chambered stomach. Most of the ruminants are wild, while a few are domestic which contribute significantly to the agricultural economy in the form of livestock resources. Characterization of livestock breeds and the exact identification of wild ruminant species are imperative for developing improved breeds and wildlife conservation, respectively. Though, taxonomists determine breeds and species based on morphological traits, which is nugatory in the case of cryptic species or when unrelated species exhibit similar morphological traits. However, the emerging DNA-based technique has overcome the challenges and limitations faced by the conventional methods. DNA barcoding, specifically, the discovery of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene as a standard DNA barcode region for animals, has transfigured the realm of molecular systematics by providing a platform to expeditiously find novel lineages and elucidate ruminant phylogeny. Despite this, DNA barcoding has huge applications including detection of adulteration and mislabeling of bush meat and checking wildlife poaching and animal trafficking. This chapter provides an overview of ruminant mammals and the usefulness of COI gene in the identification of ruminant species.


Ruminant Mammal COI gene Phylogeny 



The senior author is thankful to the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, New Delhi for the financial Assistance (SR/S0/AS-84/2012). ST is thankful to the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE) for the support in the form of research fellowship.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muniyandi Nagarajan
    • 1
  • Koodali Nimisha
    • 1
  • Subhash Thomas
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Genomic ScienceSchool of Biological Sciences, Central University of KeralaKasargodIndia

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