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ISSN : 2288-1115(Print)
ISSN : 2288-1123(Online)
Korean Journal of Ecology and Environment Vol.52 No.4 pp.385-393

Classification and Distribution of Chironomidae (Diptera) using DNA Barcoding at Urban Streams in Gwangju, South Korea

Sang-Hoon Yoon*, Jeong-Wook Park, Ji-Young Park, Jin-Jong Seo, Suk-Kyung Jeong, Jae-Keun Chung, Seok-Jin Bae
Health & Environment Research Institute of Gwangju, Gwangju 61986, Republic of Korea
* Corresponding author: Tel: +82-62-613-7584, Fax: +82-62-613-7620


Chironomid communities are indicators of water pollution because of their ability to thrive under freshwater conditions. However, it is difficult to distinguish between chironomid larvae based on morphology. DNA barcoding, based on nucleotide sequences of marker genes, can be used to identify chironomid larvae. Samples of chironomid larvae were collected from Gwangju Stream and Pungyeongjeong Stream, tributaries of the Yeongsan River in South Korea. We identified 3 subfamilies, 13 genera, 16 species, and 1 cryptic species. There were 7 genera and 10 species from the subfamily Chironominae, 5 genera and 5 species from subfamily Orthocladiinae, 1 genus and 1 species from subfamily Tanipodinae, and the cryptic chironomid species of the family Chironomidae. There were 21 individuals from, 7 species and 1 cryptic species from the Gwangju Stream and 24 individuals, belonging to 10 species from the Pungyeongjeong Stream. The only species detected in both streams was Cricotopus bicinctus. The relationship between water quality and the species detected was difficult to explain, but the number of species showed a tendency to increase at sites where water quality was poor. Additional investigations and studies are needed to understand the relationship between water quality and the chironomid species occurring in these two streams.