événements et news


Taxonomy-free molecular diatom index for high-throughput eDNA biomonitoring.

Current biodiversity assessment and biomonitoring are largely based on the morphological identification of selected bioindicator taxa. Recently, several attempts have been made to use eDNA metabarcoding as an alternative tool. However, until now, most applied metabarcoding studies have been based on the taxonomic assignment of sequences that provides reference to morphospecies ecology. Usually, only a small portion of metabarcoding data can be used due to a limited reference database and a lack of phylogenetic resolution. Here, we investigate the possibility to overcome these limitations by using a taxonomy-free approach that allows the computing of a molecular index directly from eDNA data without any reference to morphotaxonomy. As a case study, we use the benthic diatoms index, commonly used for monitoring the biological quality of rivers and streams. We analysed 87 epilithic samples from Swiss rivers, the ecological status of which was established based on the microscopic identification of diatom species. We compared the diatom index derived from eDNA data obtained with or without taxonomic assignment. Our taxonomy-free approach yields promising results by providing a correct assessment for 77% of examined sites. The main advantage of this method is that almost 95% of OTUs could be used for index calculation, compared to 35% in the case of the taxonomic assignment approach. Its main limitations are under-sampling and the need to calibrate the index based on the microscopic assessment of diatoms communities. However, once calibrated, the taxonomy-free molecular index can be easily standardized and applied in routine biomonitoring, as a complementary tool allowing fast and cost-effective assessment of the biological quality of watercourses. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


Le génome humain, réalité et fantasmes

Mercredi 1e février 2017 à 20 heures, Denis Duboule donnera une conférence intitulée « En route vers le transhumanisme ».


Making a difference: Asymmetry, fate and renewal in the stomatal lineage

28.03.2017 16:15, A100 (Sciences II)

Dominique Bergmann (Stanford University, USA).
organisé par: Michael Hothorn.


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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