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High-throughput DNA barcoding of oligochaetes for abundance-based indices to assess the biological quality of sediments in streams and lakes.

Aquatic oligochaete communities are valuable indicators of the biological quality of sediments in streams and lakes, but identification of specimens to the species level based on morphological features requires solid expertise in taxonomy and is possible only for a fraction of specimens present in a sample. The identification of aquatic oligochaetes using DNA barcodes would facilitate their use in biomonitoring and allow a wider use of this taxonomic group for ecological diagnoses. Previous approaches based on DNA metabarcoding of samples composed of total sediments or pools of specimens have been proposed for assessing the biological quality of ecosystems, but such methods do not provide precise information on species abundance, which limits the value of resulting ecological diagnoses. Here, we tested how a DNA barcoding approach based on high-throughput sequencing of sorted and genetically tagged specimens performed to assess oligochaete species diversity and abundance and the biological quality of sediments in streams and lakes. We applied both molecular and morphological approaches at 13 sites in Swiss streams and at 7 sites in Lake Geneva. We genetically identified 33 or 66 specimens per site. For both approaches, we used the same index calculations. We found that the ecological diagnoses derived from the genetic approach matched well with those of the morphological approach and that the genetic identification of only 33 specimens per site provided enough ecological information for correctly estimating the biological quality of sediments in streams and lakes.


PhD School of Life Sciences

Appel aux candidatures pour l'école doctorale en sciences de la vie. Date limite d'inscription : 15 avril 2020


Mechanisms of centromere specification in a fly model.

31.03.2020 11:00, A150 (Sciences II)

Barbara Mellone (University of Connecticut).
organisé par: Florian Steiner.


Notre département regroupe 12 laboratoires de recherche employant un total de presque 200 scientifiques, ingénieurs et techniciens. Les sujets de recherche de ces laboratoires vont de la génétique du développement à la régénération en passant par l'evo-devo, la biologie physique, phylogénétique, la systématique et l'anthropologie.



Nos professeurs et enseignants participe directement à l'enseignement des sciences de la vie à l'Université de Genève. Nous proposons aussi des spécialisations aux étudiants en master et aux doctorants à travers divers programmes.



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