Home > Events > 2 Metabarcoding spring school in Crete (13-17 May 2013) > Presentations > High throughput species identification of insects as ecological indicators (...)

Thursday 18 April 2013
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High throughput species identification of insects as ecological indicators using next generation sequencing


In the fields of ecology and conservation biology, when information requiring species-level identification is needed, many groups of living organisms are generally excluded de facto from the studies, merely because of the lack of access to the scarce specific taxonomic expertise and because of the largely unexplored and overwhelming diversity of some taxa, in particular in the species-rich inter-tropical regions. Molecular diversity, using for instance species-specific DNA barcodes as proxies to characterize species, can alleviate this impediment. When a reference library exists, DNA sequences can lead to actual species names and thus open access to all past information such as conservation status, known distribution and ecological attributes.
As one of the coordinators of the DNA barcoding campaign for Lepidoptera (gathering today more than 700K DNA barcodes for ca. 73.5K species), I will briefly introduce the ongoing efforts to assemble local, regional and global reference libraries for this insect order. I will then present the example of an ecological study in Amazonia where we tested the applicability and potential of high throughput molecular identification using next generation sequencing in two moderately diverse families of moths (Saturniidae and Sphingidae) for which a comprehensive reference library is available.
Finally, I will introduce a new project in which we aim at using a similar approach with saproxylic beetles. These insects are classical forest indicators and represent, in Europe only, an assemblage of several thousands of species in dozens of different families. Metabarcoding stands here as a promising option to handle the identification of the overwhelming number of specimens collected during sampling campaigns.

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Editorial board
  • BRANDNER Melissa
    • University of Nordland
    • Bodø (Norway)
  • BROCHMANN Christian
    • National Centre for Biosystematics
    • Oslo (Norway)
  • CHARITON Anthony
    • CSIRO Land and Water
    • Lucas Heights NA (Australia)
  • DEAGLE Bruce
    • University of Victoria
    • Victoria (Canada)
  • Eric Coissac
    • LECA
    • Grenoble (France)
  • KASAPIDIS Panagiotis
    • Hellenic Center for Marine Research
    • Irakleion, Crete (Greece)
    • Université de Genève
    • Genève 4 (Switzerland)
  • TABERLET Pierre
    • LECA,
    • Grenoble (France)
    • Centre for GeoGenetics
    • Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • ZINGER Lucie
    • IBENS
    • Paris (France)
  • Vodka, Bison and Metabarcoding

    31 July 2015, by BRANDNER Melissa

    The start of last month saw the occurrence of the Fifth Metabarcoding Spring School held in Białowieża National Park , Poland. A variety of scientists attended from all over the globe to learn, share and inspire with unique stories of metabarcoding.
    The scientists at the Mammal Research Institute PAS in Białowieża National Park hosted this year’s workshop. And our hats go off to them for the organizational skills, warmth and hospitality. During the week, experienced metabarcoders gave lectures on their trials and tribulations in the field of metabarcoding, sparking conversations between the attendees. The end of the first day saw flash talks from all participants of the event, creating an icebreaker and showing the wide variety of applications for metabarcoding, including, dietary studies, environmental health, fundamental ecology and exploration of rare and ancient habitats.
    Pierre Taberlet (who is rumoured to run 8000 PCR a day!) taught technical aspects such as DNA extraction in (...)

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