University of Oulu

Dincă, V., Dapporto, L., Somervuo, P. et al. High resolution DNA barcode library for European butterflies reveals continental patterns of mitochondrial genetic diversity. Commun Biol 4, 315 (2021).

High resolution DNA barcode library for European butterflies reveals continental patterns of mitochondrial genetic diversity

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Author: Dincă, Vlad1,2; Dapporto, Leonardo3; Somervuo, Panu4;
Organizations: 1Ecology and Genetics Research Unit, PO Box 3000, University of Oulu, 90014, Oulu, Finland
2Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (CSIC-UPF), 03008, Barcelona, Spain
3ZEN lab, Dipartimento di Biologia, University of Florence, 50019, Sesto Fiorentino, Italy
4Organismal and Evolutionary Biology Research Programme, University of Helsinki, FI-00014, Helsinki, Finland
5Via Barge 3, 10139, Torino, Italy
6VVE Workgroup Butterflies, Diamantstraat 4, 8900, Ieper, Belgium
7Barrett’s Close, Stonesfield, Oxon, OX29 8PW, UK
8Naturwissenschaftliche Sammlungen, Sammlungs- und Forschungszentrum, Tiroler Landesmuseen, 6060, Hall in Tirol, Austria
9Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1, Canada
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-04-28


The study of global biodiversity will greatly benefit from access to comprehensive DNA barcode libraries at continental scale, but such datasets are still very rare. Here, we assemble the first high-resolution reference library for European butterflies that provides 97% taxon coverage (459 species) and 22,306 COI sequences. We estimate that we captured 62% of the total haplotype diversity and show that most species possess a few very common haplotypes and many rare ones. Specimens in the dataset have an average 95.3% probability of being correctly identified. Mitochondrial diversity displayed elevated haplotype richness in southern European refugia, establishing the generality of this key biogeographic pattern for an entire taxonomic group. Fifteen percent of the species are involved in barcode sharing, but two thirds of these cases may reflect the need for further taxonomic research. This dataset provides a unique resource for conservation and for studying evolutionary processes, cryptic species, phylogeography, and ecology.

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Series: Communications biology
ISSN: 2399-3642
ISSN-E: 2399-3642
ISSN-L: 2399-3642
Volume: 4
Issue: 1
Article number: 315
DOI: 10.1038/s42003-021-01834-7
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Funding: We are grateful to the many colleagues who supported the EUGENMAP project by providing specimens or relevant information. We thank authorities in all European countries that supported the project and provided permits for sample acquisition. Axel Hausmann kindly provided access to all butterfly data from the FBLRH project on BOLD. Support for this research was provided by a Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship within the 7th European Community Framework Programme (project no. 625997) and by the Academy of Finland to V.D. (Academy Research Fellow, decision no. 328895), as well as by projects CGL2010–21226/BOS and CGL2013–48277-P (Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad), CGL2016–76322 (AEI/FEDER, UE), PID2019–107078GB-I00 (AEI/10.13039/501100011033) and 2017-SGR-991 (Generalitat de Catalunya) to R.Vi. and by the projects “Ricerca e conservazione sui lepidotteri diurni di sei Parchi Nazionali dell’Appennino centro-settentrionale”, “Ricerca e conservazione sugli Impollinatori dell’Arcipelago Toscano e divulgazione sui Lepidotteri del parco” and “Servizio di attuazione delle azioni per la protezione degli impollinatori e diffusione dell’entomofauna del Parco Nazionale dell’Alta Murgia” to L.D. P.Hu. is indebted to the Promotion of Educational Policies, University and Research Department of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano – South Tyrol for funding. FinBOL was funded by the Academy of Finland (through FinBIF), Kone Foundation and Finnish Cultural Foundation. Support to P.He. from the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Ontario Genomics, Genome Canada, and the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation aided sequence analysis.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 328895
Detailed Information: 328895 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2021. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit