Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Ann Bucklin, Ph.D.

University of Connecticut
Department of Marine Sciences

A Rosetta Stone (DNA Barcode Library)
for Marine Holozooplankton Diversity

Wednesday — October 7, 2009
Pacific Forum — 3:00 p.m.

A global database of DNA barcodes for the ~7,000 described species of marine holozooplankton will serve as a Rosetta Stone for understanding marine biodiversity of this assemblage. We report here on progress toward a “gold standard” DNA barcode database for the barcode region of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (mtCOI) for planktonic representatives of 15 animal phyla. Samples have been collected from every ocean basin and from surface to bottom (>5,000 meters). Living specimens are identified to species immediately after collection; barcoding has been carried out in ship-board DNA sequencing laboratories. We describe novel approaches to data analysis, visualization of species diversity, and identification and quantification of known species using barcodes. Current applications include revealing cryptic species, describing biogeographical distributions, and discovering new species. Future applications include rapid characterization of species diversity in unsorted samples using environmental barcoding (community metagenetics) for ecosystem monitoring.


Next: October 14 — Gary Geller, Ph.D. - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory