Prelims cum Mains Science & Tech

Genetic ‘barcodes’ reveal three frogs unreported in India

The News

  • Using genetic barcoding, a team of scientists has identified three frog species, which were not yet recorded in India.

 

Key Results

  • India is home to three narrow-mouthed frogs till now known to be found in other South Asian countries.
  • The number of ornate narrow-mouthed frogs has started dwindling in India.

 

Three new species

Nilphamari narrow-mouthed frog

  • Nocturnal
  • Earlier known to be found only in Bangladesh and Nepal.
  • Discovered in
  • Western Ghats (Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra)
  • Eastern Ghats (Andhra Pradesh and Odisha)
  • Central, east and northeastern India.

Mukhlesur’s narrow-mouthed frog

  • Earlier known to be seen in Bangladesh and other south Asian countries.
  • Reported from Mizoram 

Mymensingh narrow-mouthed frogs

  • Most narrow-mouthed frogs seen in northeastern India are Mymensingh narrow-mouthed frogs.

 

Dwindling numbers of ornate narrow-mouthed frog

  • Ornate narrow-mouthed frog is found only in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
  • IUCN currently classifies the species as “Least Concern”.
  • However the study reveals that the species could be dwindling and requires conservation attention.

 

DNA Barcode

  • An organism’s DNA carries the detailed instructions to build an organism.
  • A gene is a sequence of bases in a DNA molecule that carries the information necessary for producing a protein.
  • Just as a book can be viewed as a sequence of letters, a molecule of DNA can be viewed as a sequence of bases.
  • The sequence in which bases appear in a molecule of an organism’s DNA makes up a “code” of that organism.
  • This ‘code’ varies significantly in their number and ‘makeup’ from species to species.
  • Within the species, more than 99.9% of the sequences of two individuals are the same.
  • However since in a genome there are about three billion base pairs, even a tenth of a percent difference translates to about three million base-pair differences.
  • These differences are responsible different individuals within the species.

 

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