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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2016, Article ID 9382613, 7 pages
Research Article

Molecular Identification and Traceability of Illegal Trading in Lignobrycon myersi (Teleostei: Characiformes), a Threatened Brazilian Fish Species, Using DNA Barcode

1Department of Biological Sciences, Universidade Estadual do Sudoeste da Bahia, Rua José Moreira Sobrinho, s/n, Bairro Jequiezinho, 45206-190 Jequié, BA, Brazil
2Institute of Coastal Studies (IECOS), Universidade Federal do Pará, Alameda Leandro Ribeiro s/n, Bairro Aldeia, 68600-000 Bragança, PA, Brazil

Received 29 June 2016; Revised 16 August 2016; Accepted 17 August 2016

Academic Editor: Jaewoo Yoon

Copyright © 2016 Alexandre dos Santos Rodrigues et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Lignobrycon myersi is a threatened freshwater fish species and endemic of a few coastal rivers in northeastern Brazil. Even though the Brazilian laws prohibit the fisheries of threatened species, L. myersi is occasionally found in street markets, being highly appreciated by local population. In order to provide a reliable DNA barcode dataset for L. myersi, we compared mitochondrial sequences of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) from fresh, frozen, and salt-preserved specimens. Phylogenetically related species (Triportheus spp.) and other fish species (Astyanax fasciatus) commonly mixed with L. myersi in street markets were also included to test the efficiency of molecular identification. In spite of the differences in conservation processes and advanced deterioration of some commercial samples, high-quality COI sequences were obtained and effective in discriminating L. myersi specimens. In addition, while populations from Contas and Almada River basins seem to comprise a single evolutionary lineage, the specimens from Cachoeira River were genetically differentiated, indicating population structuring. Therefore, DNA barcoding has proved to be useful to trace the illegal trading of L. myersi and to manage threatened populations, which should focus on conservation of distinct genetic stocks and mitigation on human impacts along their range.