A DNA metabarcoding approach to profile macrobenthos and zooplankton biodiversity

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    A DNA metabarcoding approach to profile macrobenthos and zooplankton biodiversity

    Devriese Lisa1, Hostens Kris1, Maes Sara1, Haegeman Annelies2, De Backer Annelies1, Wittoeck Jan1, Vansteenbrugge Lies1, Ruttink Tom2
    1 Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO), Animal Sciences Unit, Aquatic environment and quality, Ankerstraat 1, 8400 Oostende, Belgium
    2 Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO), Plant Sciences Unit, Growth and Development, Caritasstraat 21, 9090 Melle, Belgium

    Zooplankton and macrobenthos are recognized as good indicators to measure alterations in marine ecosystems. However, biodiversity assessments require accurate species identifications, which are commonly based on morphological features. DNA barcoding (species) and metabarcoding (communities) may provide a fast alternative. Still, the lack of a standardized DNA barcode reference library is currently limiting accurate species identification in both ecosystem components. We developed a flexible DNA metabarcoding pipeline, using Illumina MiSeq (NGS) technology. Different barcoding primers were checked against publicly available sequences to select the most optimal barcode region and primer sequences for the macrobenthos species present in our study area. Next, amplicon sequencing was executed using the COI and 18S target regions and DNA extracts both on individual species, and on pooled samples in which tissues or DNA extracts of different species were mixed. This setup allowed us 1) to check the effectiveness of the primers to detect species in both single and pooled samples; 2) to evaluate which DNA barcode provides the best taxonomic resolution; and 3) to investigate the relationship between read counts per species and the relative proportion of species in mixed samples. We applied the same standardized DNA metabarcoding pipeline to zooplankton, more specifically for a number of ctenophore species, which are quite difficult (especially the young stages) to assess by means of common morphological identifications.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 12-May-2016
    EventICES/PICES 6th Zooplankton Production Symposium - Bergen, Norway
    Duration: 9-May-201613-May-2016


    ConferenceICES/PICES 6th Zooplankton Production Symposium
    Internet address

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