Velo-Antón G, Henrique M, Liz AV, Martínez-Freiría F, Pleguezuelos JM, Geniez P, Crochet P-A, Brito JC


DNA barcode reference libraries are now continuously produced for the tree of life, which are essential pillars for the study of biological diversity. Yet, our knowledge about global diversity is largely limited in undersampled regions such as the largest warm desert, the Sahara-Sahel. This dataset provides a DNA barcode reference library for the reptiles of the Western Sahara-Sahel (WSS) and neighbouring countries across this region. It includes 760 barcodes from 133 reptile taxa, distributed in 23 families, and covering the intraspecific diversity of some species. A total of 84 species were collected in the WSS (83% of the total reptile species richness) over 18 overland field expeditions conducted since 2003. DNA barcodes resulted in a high success rate (95%) of species identification and barcoding gap analysis highlighted the effectiveness of the COI fragment as a barcode marker for the WSS reptiles. This dataset represents a comprehensive and reliable DNA reference library for the WSS, filling an important biodiversity gap across a remote and hard-to-sample region.


Journal: Scientific Data

Link: 10.1038/s41597-022-01582-1