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Dna Barcoding of the Protected Horned Helmet, Cassis cornuta (Linnaeus 1758)†
The horned helmet Cassis cornuta (Linnaeus 1758) is the largest of all helmet shells belonging to the family Cassidae. In India, C. cornuta is protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 (Schedule- I, Part IV-B) due to its conservation importance. Also, it is one of the most sought after tropical marine molluscs in illegal trading. In the present study, we have performed DNA barcoding for this species using the mitochondrial marker gene, cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI), and deposited the data at GenBank (accession no. MK878541). The evolutionary history was inferred adopting the maximum likelihood method and Kimura 2-parameter model by encompassing representative organisms belonging to the genus Cassis. As C. cornuta is in great demand among shell collectors and is illegally traded across countries, the DNA barcode data available in the public database would provide an additional checkpoint in reducing the chance of unlawful trade of this shell. Further, it strengthens conservation management practices, particularly at the port of entries where portable DNA barcoding facilities are in practice.
Cassis cornuta, COI Gene, DNA Barcoding, Protected Species.
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