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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Simultaneous assessment of the macrobiome and microbiome in a bulk sample of tropical arthropods through DNA metasystematics.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 05-07-2014
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Conventional assessments of ecosystem sample composition are based on morphology-based or DNA barcode identification of individuals. Both approaches are costly and time-consuming, especially when applied to the large number of specimens and taxa commonly included in ecological investigations. Next-generation sequencing approaches can overcome the bottleneck of individual specimen isolation and identification by simultaneously sequencing specimens of all taxa in a bulk mixture. Here we apply multiple parallel amplification primers, multiple DNA barcode markers, 454-pyrosequencing, and Illumina MiSeq sequencing to the same sample to maximize recovery of the arthropod macrobiome and the bacterial and other microbial microbiome of a bulk arthropod sample. We validate this method with a complex sample containing 1,066 morphologically distinguishable arthropods from a tropical terrestrial ecosystem with high taxonomic diversity. Multiamplicon next-generation DNA barcoding was able to recover sequences corresponding to 91% of the distinguishable individuals in a bulk environmental sample, as well as many species present as undistinguishable tissue. 454-pyrosequencing was able to recover 10 more families of arthropods and 30 more species than did conventional Sanger sequencing of each individual specimen. The use of other loci (16S and 18S ribosomal DNA gene regions) also added the detection of species of microbes associated with these terrestrial arthropods. This method greatly decreases the time and money necessary to perform DNA-based comparisons of biodiversity among ecosystem samples. This methodology opens the door to much cheaper and increased capacity for ecological and evolutionary studies applicable to a wide range of socio-economic issues, as well as a basic understanding of how the world works.
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Mitochondrial and nuclear phylogenetic analysis with Sanger and next-generation sequencing shows that, in Área de Conservación Guanacaste, northwestern Costa Rica, the skipper butterfly named Urbanus belli (family Hesperiidae) comprises three morphologically cryptic spe
BMC Evol. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 02-19-2014
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Skipper butterflies (Hesperiidae) are a relatively well-studied family of Lepidoptera. However, a combination of DNA barcodes, morphology, and natural history data has revealed several cryptic species complexes within them. Here, we investigate three DNA barcode lineages of what has been identified as Urbanus belli (Hesperiidae, Eudaminae) in Área de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG), northwestern Costa Rica.
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A striking new genus and species of tiger-moth (Lepidoptera: Erebidae, Arctiinae, Arctiini) from the Caribbean, with molecular and morphological analysis of its systematic placement.
Zootaxa
PUBLISHED: 01-30-2014
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Westindia Vincent, a new genus, is proposed for W. haxairei Vincent, a new species of Neotropical tiger-moth described from Dominican Republic. Habitus, male and female genitalia are described and figured. The systematic position of the new genus within Arctiinae is discussed in light of a comparative morphology and a molecular phylogeny derived from the DNA barcode fragment of the mitochondrial COI gene and of the D2 region of the 28S rDNA gene.
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Next-generation DNA barcoding: using next-generation sequencing to enhance and accelerate DNA barcode capture from single specimens.
Mol Ecol Resour
PUBLISHED: 01-15-2014
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DNA barcoding is an efficient method to identify specimens and to detect undescribed/cryptic species. Sanger sequencing of individual specimens is the standard approach in generating large-scale DNA barcode libraries and identifying unknowns. However, the Sanger sequencing technology is, in some respects, inferior to next-generation sequencers, which are capable of producing millions of sequence reads simultaneously. Additionally, direct Sanger sequencing of DNA barcode amplicons, as practiced in most DNA barcoding procedures, is hampered by the need for relatively high-target amplicon yield, coamplification of nuclear mitochondrial pseudogenes, confusion with sequences from intracellular endosymbiotic bacteria (e.g. Wolbachia) and instances of intraindividual variability (i.e. heteroplasmy). Any of these situations can lead to failed Sanger sequencing attempts or ambiguity of the generated DNA barcodes. Here, we demonstrate the potential application of next-generation sequencing platforms for parallel acquisition of DNA barcode sequences from hundreds of specimens simultaneously. To facilitate retrieval of sequences obtained from individual specimens, we tag individual specimens during PCR amplification using unique 10-mer oligonucleotides attached to DNA barcoding PCR primers. We employ 454 pyrosequencing to recover full-length DNA barcodes of 190 specimens using 12.5% capacity of a 454 sequencing run (i.e. two lanes of a 16 lane run). We obtained an average of 143 sequence reads for each individual specimen. The sequences produced are full-length DNA barcodes for all but one of the included specimens. In a subset of samples, we also detected Wolbachia, nontarget species, and heteroplasmic sequences. Next-generation sequencing is of great value because of its protocol simplicity, greatly reduced cost per barcode read, faster throughout and added information content.
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Review of Apanteles sensu stricto (Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Microgastrinae) from Area de Conservación Guanacaste, northwestern Costa Rica, with keys to all described species from Mesoamerica.
Zookeys
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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More than half a million specimens of wild-caught Lepidoptera caterpillars have been reared for their parasitoids, identified, and DNA barcoded over a period of 34 years (and ongoing) from Area de Conservación de Guanacaste (ACG), northwestern Costa Rica. This provides the world's best location-based dataset for studying the taxonomy and host relationships of caterpillar parasitoids. Among Hymenoptera, Microgastrinae (Braconidae) is the most diverse and commonly encountered parasitoid subfamily, with many hundreds of species delineated to date, almost all undescribed. Here, we reassess the limits of the genus Apanteles sensu stricto, describe 186 new species from 3,200+ parasitized caterpillars of hundreds of ACG Lepidoptera species, and provide keys to all 205 described Apanteles from Mesoamerica - including 19 previously described species in addition to the new species. The Mesoamerican Apanteles are assigned to 32 species-groups, all but two of which are newly defined. Taxonomic keys are presented in two formats: traditional dichotomous print versions and links to electronic interactive versions (software Lucid 3.5). Numerous illustrations, computer-generated descriptions, distributional information, wasp biology, and DNA barcodes (where available) are presented for every species. All morphological terms are detailed and linked to the Hymenoptera Anatomy Ontology website. DNA barcodes (a standard fragment of the cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) mitochondrial gene), information on wasp biology (host records, solitary/gregariousness of wasp larvae), ratios of morphological features, and wasp microecological distributions were used to help clarify boundaries between morphologically cryptic species within species-complexes. Because of the high accuracy of host identification for about 80% of the wasp species studied, it was possible to analyze host relationships at a regional level. The ACG species of Apanteles attack mainly species of Hesperiidae, Elachistidae and Crambidae (Lepidoptera). About 90% of the wasp species with known host records seem to be monophagous or oligophagous at some level, parasitizing just one host family and commonly, just one species of caterpillar. Only 15 species (9%) parasitize species in more than one family, and some of these cases are likely to be found to be species complexes. We have used several information sources and techniques (traditional taxonomy, molecular, software-based, biology, and geography) to accelerate the process of finding and describing these new species in a hyperdiverse group such as Apanteles. The following new taxonomic and nomenclatural acts are proposed. Four species previously considered to be Apanteles are transferred to other microgastrine genera: Dolichogenidea hedyleptae (Muesebeck, 1958), comb. n., Dolichogenidea politiventris (Muesebeck, 1958), comb. n., Rhygoplitis sanctivincenti (Ashmead, 1900), comb. n., and Illidops scutellaris (Muesebeck, 1921), comb. rev. One European species that is a secondary homonym to a Mesoamerican species is removed from Apanteles and transferred to another genus: Iconella albinervis (Tobias, 1964), stat. rev. The name Apanteles albinervican Shenefelt, 1972, is an invalid replacement name for Apanteles albinervis (Cameron, 1904), stat. rev., and thus the later name is reinstated as valid. The following 186 species, all in Apanteles and all authored by Fernández-Triana, are described as species nova: adelinamoralesae, adrianachavarriae, adrianaguilarae, adrianguadamuzi, aichagirardae, aidalopezae, albanjimenezi, alejandromasisi, alejandromorai, minorcarmonai, alvarougaldei, federicomatarritai, anabellecordobae, rostermoragai, anamarencoae, anamartinesae, anapiedrae, anariasae, andreacalvoae, angelsolisi, arielopezi, bernardoespinozai, bernyapui, bettymarchenae, bienvenidachavarriae, calixtomoragai, carloscastilloi, carlosguadamuzi, eliethcantillanoae, carlosrodriguezi, carlosviquezi, carloszunigai, carolinacanoae, christianzunigai, cinthiabarrantesae, ciriloumanai, cristianalemani, cynthiacorderoae, deifiliadavilae, dickyui, didiguadamuzi, diegoalpizari, diegotorresi, diniamartinezae, duniagarciae, duvalierbricenoi, edgarjimenezi, edithlopezae, eduardoramirezi, edwinapui, eldarayae, erickduartei, esthercentenoae, eugeniaphilipsae, eulogiosequeira, felipechavarriai, felixcarmonai, fernandochavarriai, flormoralesae, franciscopizarroi, franciscoramirezi, freddyquesadai, freddysalazari, gabrielagutierrezae, garygibsoni, gerardobandoi, gerardosandovali, gladysrojasae, glenriverai, gloriasihezarae, guadaluperodriguezae, guillermopereirai, juanmatai, harryramirezi, hectorsolisi, humbertolopezi, inesolisae, irenecarrilloae, isaacbermudezi, isidrochaconi, isidrovillegasi, ivonnetranae, jairomoyai, javiercontrerasi, javierobandoi, javiersihezari, jesusbrenesi, jesusugaldei, jimmychevezi, johanvargasi, jorgecortesi, jorgehernandezi, josecalvoi, josecortesi, josediazi, josejaramilloi, josemonteroi, joseperezi, joserasi, juanapui, juancarrilloi, juangazoi, juanhernandezi, juanlopezi, juanvictori, juliodiazi, juniorlopezi, keineraragoni, laurahuberae, laurenmoralesae, leninguadamuzi, leonelgarayi, lilliammenae, lisabearssae, luciariosae, luisbrizuelai, luiscanalesi, luiscantillanoi, luisgarciai, luisgaritai, luishernandezi, luislopezi, luisvargasi, manuelarayai, manuelpereirai, manuelriosi, manuelzumbadoi, marcobustosi, marcogonzalezi, marcovenicioi, mariachavarriae mariaguevarae, marialuisariasae, mariamendezae, marianopereirai, mariatorrentesae, sigifredomarini, marisolarroyoae, marisolnavarroae, marvinmendozai, mauriciogurdiani, milenagutierrezae, monicachavarriae, oscarchavesi, osvaldoespinozai, pablotranai, pabloumanai, pablovasquezi, paulaixcamparijae, luzmariaromeroae, petronariosae, randallgarciai, randallmartinezi, raulacevedoi, raulsolorsanoi, wadyobandoi, ricardocaleroi, robertmontanoi, robertoespinozai, robertovargasi, rodrigogamezi, rogerblancoi, rolandoramosi, rolandovegai, ronaldcastroi, ronaldgutierrezi, ronaldmurilloi, ronaldnavarroi, ronaldquirosi, ronaldzunigai, rosibelelizondoae, ruthfrancoae, sergiocascantei, sergioriosi, tiboshartae, vannesabrenesae, minornavarroi, victorbarrantesi, waldymedinai, wilbertharayai, williamcamposi, yeissonchavesi, yilbertalvaradoi, yolandarojasae, hazelcambroneroae, zeneidabolanosae.
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Cryptic species within cryptic moths: new species of Dunama Schaus (Notodontidae, Nystaleinae) in Costa Rica.
Zookeys
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Based on almost 1,700 recently reared and wild-collected specimens, the genus Dunama Schaus (Notodontidae, Nystaelinae) in Costa Rica is reviewed. Eight species are recorded of which seven are newly described: Dunama jessiehillae Chacón, Dunama jessiebarronae Chacón, Dunama janewaldronae Chacón, Dunama jessiebancroftae Chacón, Dunama janecoxae Chacón, Dunama biosise Chacón, Dunama indereci Chacón. Dunama angulinea Schaus is redescribed and associated with its correct genitalia. Dunama tuna (Schaus), previously listed as ocurring in Costa Rica, is restricted to Colombia. Most species are described through their distinctive CO1 barcodes, genitalia and life histories. Dunama adults and caterpillars, their foodplants, and their parasites in Area de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG) in northwestern Costa Rica are described where known. Many life history stages are illustrated.
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Pyrosequencing for mini-barcoding of fresh and old museum specimens.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 05-25-2011
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DNA barcoding is an effective approach for species identification and for discovery of new and/or cryptic species. Sanger sequencing technology is the method of choice for obtaining standard 650 bp cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) barcodes. However, DNA degradation/fragmentation makes it difficult to obtain a full-length barcode from old specimens. Mini-barcodes of 130 bp from the standard barcode region have been shown to be effective for accurate identification in many animal groups and may be readily obtained from museum samples. Here we demonstrate the application of an alternative sequencing technology, the four-enzymes single-specimen pyrosequencing, in rapid, cost-effective mini-barcode analysis. We were able to generate sequences of up to 100 bp from mini-barcode fragments of COI in 135 fresh and 50 old Lepidoptera specimens (ranging from 53-97 year-old). The sequences obtained using pyrosequencing were of high quality and we were able to robustly match all the tested pyro-sequenced samples to their respective Sanger-sequenced standard barcode sequences, where available. Simplicity of the protocol and instrumentation coupled with higher speed and lower cost per sequence than Sanger sequencing makes this approach potentially useful in efforts to link standard barcode sequences from unidentified specimens to known museum specimens with only short DNA fragments.
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Reading the complex skipper butterfly fauna of one tropical place.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 04-19-2011
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An intense, 30-year, ongoing biodiversity inventory of Lepidoptera, together with their food plants and parasitoids, is centered on the rearing of wild-caught caterpillars in the 120,000 terrestrial hectares of dry, rain, and cloud forest of Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (ACG) in northwestern Costa Rica. Since 2003, DNA barcoding of all species has aided their identification and discovery. We summarize the process and results for a large set of the species of two speciose subfamilies of ACG skipper butterflies (Hesperiidae) and emphasize the effectiveness of barcoding these species (which are often difficult and time-consuming to identify).
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When species matches are unavailable are DNA barcodes correctly assigned to higher taxa? An assessment using sphingid moths.
BMC Ecol.
PUBLISHED: 04-12-2011
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When a specimen belongs to a species not yet represented in DNA barcode reference libraries there is disagreement over the effectiveness of using sequence comparisons to assign the query accurately to a higher taxon. Library completeness and the assignment criteria used have been proposed as critical factors affecting the accuracy of such assignments but have not been thoroughly investigated. We explored the accuracy of assignments to genus, tribe and subfamily in the Sphingidae, using the almost complete global DNA barcode reference library (1095 species) available for this family. Costa Rican sphingids (118 species), a well-documented, diverse subset of the family, with each of the tribes and subfamilies represented were used as queries. We simulated libraries with different levels of completeness (10-100% of the available species), and recorded assignments (positive or ambiguous) and their accuracy (true or false) under six criteria.
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Environmental barcoding: a next-generation sequencing approach for biomonitoring applications using river benthos.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 02-07-2011
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Timely and accurate biodiversity analysis poses an ongoing challenge for the success of biomonitoring programs. Morphology-based identification of bioindicator taxa is time consuming, and rarely supports species-level resolution especially for immature life stages. Much work has been done in the past decade to develop alternative approaches for biodiversity analysis using DNA sequence-based approaches such as molecular phylogenetics and DNA barcoding. On-going assembly of DNA barcode reference libraries will provide the basis for a DNA-based identification system. The use of recently introduced next-generation sequencing (NGS) approaches in biodiversity science has the potential to further extend the application of DNA information for routine biomonitoring applications to an unprecedented scale. Here we demonstrate the feasibility of using 454 massively parallel pyrosequencing for species-level analysis of freshwater benthic macroinvertebrate taxa commonly used for biomonitoring. We designed our experiments in order to directly compare morphology-based, Sanger sequencing DNA barcoding, and next-generation environmental barcoding approaches. Our results show the ability of 454 pyrosequencing of mini-barcodes to accurately identify all species with more than 1% abundance in the pooled mixture. Although the approach failed to identify 6 rare species in the mixture, the presence of sequences from 9 species that were not represented by individuals in the mixture provides evidence that DNA based analysis may yet provide a valuable approach in finding rare species in bulk environmental samples. We further demonstrate the application of the environmental barcoding approach by comparing benthic macroinvertebrates from an urban region to those obtained from a conservation area. Although considerable effort will be required to robustly optimize NGS tools to identify species from bulk environmental samples, our results indicate the potential of an environmental barcoding approach for biomonitoring programs.
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Spatial patterns of plant diversity below-ground as revealed by DNA barcoding.
Mol. Ecol.
PUBLISHED: 01-22-2011
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Our understanding of the spatial organization of root diversity in plant communities and of the mechanisms of community assembly has been limited by our ability to identify plants based on root tissue, especially in diverse communities. Here, we test the effectiveness of the plastid gene rbcL, a core plant DNA barcoding marker, for investigating spatial patterns of root diversity, and relate observed patterns to above-ground community structure. We collected 3800 root fragments from four randomly positioned, 1-m-deep soil profiles (two vertical transects per plot), located in an old-field community in southern Ontario, Canada, and extracted and sequenced DNA from 1531 subsampled fragments. We identified species by comparing sequences with a DNA barcode reference library developed previously for the local flora. Nearly 85% of sampled root fragments were successfully sequenced and identified as belonging to 29 plant species or species groups. Root abundance and species richness varied in horizontal space and were negatively correlated with soil depth. The relative abundance of taxa below-ground was correlated with their frequency above-ground (r = 0.73, P = 0.0001), but several species detected in root tissue were not observed in above-ground quadrats. Multivariate analyses indicated that diversity was highly structured below-ground, and associated with depth, root morphology, soil chemistry and soil texture, whereas little structure was evident above-ground. Furthermore, analyses of species co-occurrence indicates strong species segregation overall but random co-occurrence among confamilials. Our results provide insights into the role of environmental filtering and competitive interactions in the organization of plant diversity below-ground, and also demonstrate the utility of barcoding for the identification of plant roots.
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The DNA Barcode Linker.
Mol Ecol Resour
PUBLISHED: 08-15-2010
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DNA barcoding is based on the use of short DNA sequences to provide taxonomic tags for rapid, efficient identification of biological specimens. Currently, reference databases are being compiled. In the future, it will be important to facilitate access to these databases, especially for nonspecialist users. The method described here provides a rapid, web-based, user-friendly link between the DNA sequence from an unidentified biological specimen and various types of biological information, including the species name. Specifically, we use a customized, Google-type search algorithm to quickly match an unknown DNA sequence to a list of verified DNA barcodes in the reference database. In addition to retrieving the species name, our web tool also provides automatic links to a range of other information about that species. As the DNA barcode database becomes more populated, it will become increasingly important for the broader user community to be able to exploit it for the rapid identification of unknown specimens and to easily obtain relevant biological information about these species. The application presented here meets that need.
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Direct PCR amplification and sequencing of specimens DNA from preservative ethanol.
BioTechniques
PUBLISHED: 04-03-2010
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DNA extraction is the first step in many molecular biology protocols. However, we hypothesized that DNA from a preserved specimen can leak into its preservative medium, allowing the medium itself to be directly PCR-amplified. We successfully tested this idea on mescal-the alcoholic beverage famous for the "worm" (a caterpillar) that is placed in the bottle of many brands-and indeed obtained amplifiable quantities of caterpillar DNA. We then successfully amplified and sequenced DNA from the 95% ethanol preservative of 70 freshly collected specimens and 7 archival specimens 7-10 years old. These results suggest that DNA extraction is a superfluous step in many protocols and that preservative ethanol can be used as a source of genetic material for non-invasive sampling or when no tissue specimen is left for further DNA analyses.
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Toward a knowledge infrastructure for traits-based ecological risk assessment.
Integr Environ Assess Manag
PUBLISHED: 02-11-2010
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The trait approach has already indicated significant potential as a tool in understanding natural variation among species in sensitivity to contaminants in the process of ecological risk assessment. However, to realize its full potential, a defined nomenclature for traits is urgently required, and significant effort is required to populate databases of species-trait relationships. Recently, there have been significant advances in the area of information management and discovery in the area of the semantic web. Combined with continuing progress in biological trait knowledge, these suggest that the time is right for a reevaluation of how trait information from divergent research traditions is collated and made available for end users in the field of environmental management. Although there has already been a great deal of work on traits, the information is scattered throughout databases, literature, and undiscovered sources. Further progress will require better leverage of this existing data and research to fill in the gaps. We review and discuss a number of technical and social challenges to bringing together existing information and moving toward a new, collaborative approach. Finally, we outline a path toward enhanced knowledge discovery within the traits domain space, showing that, by linking knowledge management infrastructure, semantic metadata (trait ontologies), and Web 2.0 and 3.0 technologies, we can begin to construct a dedicated platform for TERA science.
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Googling DNA sequences on the World Wide Web.
BMC Bioinformatics
PUBLISHED: 11-10-2009
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New web-based technologies provide an excellent opportunity for sharing and accessing information and using web as a platform for interaction and collaboration. Although several specialized tools are available for analyzing DNA sequence information, conventional web-based tools have not been utilized for bioinformatics applications. We have developed a novel algorithm and implemented it for searching species-specific genomic sequences, DNA barcodes, by using popular web-based methods such as Google.
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iBarcode.org: web-based molecular biodiversity analysis.
BMC Bioinformatics
PUBLISHED: 06-16-2009
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DNA sequences have become a primary source of information in biodiversity analysis. For example, short standardized species-specific genomic regions, DNA barcodes, are being used as a global standard for species identification and biodiversity studies. Most DNA barcodes are being generated by laboratories that have an expertise in DNA sequencing but not in bioinformatics data analysis. Therefore, we have developed a web-based suite of tools to help the DNA barcode researchers analyze their vast datasets.
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Are plant species inherently harder to discriminate than animal species using DNA barcoding markers?
Mol Ecol Resour
PUBLISHED: 05-01-2009
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The ability to discriminate between species using barcoding loci has proved more difficult in plants than animals, raising the possibility that plant species boundaries are less well defined. Here, we review a selection of published barcoding data sets to compare species discrimination in plants vs. animals. Although the use of different genetic markers, analytical methods and depths of taxon sampling may complicate comparisons, our results using common metrics demonstrate that the number of species supported as monophyletic using barcoding markers is higher in animals (> 90%) than plants (~70%), even after controlling for the amount of parsimony-informative information per species. This suggests that more than a simple lack of variability limits species discrimination in plants. Both animal and plant species pairs have variable size gaps between intra- and interspecific genetic distances, but animal species tend to have larger gaps than plants, even in relatively densely sampled genera. An analysis of 12 plant genera suggests that hybridization contributes significantly to variation in genetic discontinuity in plants. Barcoding success may be improved in some plant groups by careful choice of markers and appropriate sampling; however, overall fine-scale species discrimination in plants relative to animals may be inherently more difficult because of greater levels of gene-tree paraphyly.
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Integration of DNA barcoding into an ongoing inventory of complex tropical biodiversity.
Mol Ecol Resour
PUBLISHED: 05-01-2009
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Inventory of the caterpillars, their food plants and parasitoids began in 1978 for todays Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (ACG), in northwestern Costa Rica. This complex mosaic of 120 000 ha of conserved and regenerating dry, cloud and rain forest over 0-2000 m elevation contains at least 10 000 species of non-leaf-mining caterpillars used by more than 5000 species of parasitoids. Several hundred thousand specimens of ACG-reared adult Lepidoptera and parasitoids have been intensively and extensively studied morphologically by many taxonomists, including most of the co-authors. DNA barcoding - the use of a standardized short mitochondrial DNA sequence to identify specimens and flush out undisclosed species - was added to the taxonomic identification process in 2003. Barcoding has been found to be extremely accurate during the identification of about 100 000 specimens of about 3500 morphologically defined species of adult moths, butterflies, tachinid flies, and parasitoid wasps. Less than 1% of the species have such similar barcodes that a molecularly based taxonomic identification is impossible. No specimen with a full barcode was misidentified when its barcode was compared with the barcode library. Also as expected from early trials, barcoding a series from all morphologically defined species, and correlating the morphological, ecological and barcode traits, has revealed many hundreds of overlooked presumptive species. Many but not all of these cryptic species can now be distinguished by subtle morphological and/or ecological traits previously ascribed to variation or thought to be insignificant for species-level recognition. Adding DNA barcoding to the inventory has substantially improved the quality and depth of the inventory, and greatly multiplied the number of situations requiring further taxonomic work for resolution.
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Assessing biodiversity of a freshwater benthic macroinvertebrate community through non-destructive environmental barcoding of DNA from preservative ethanol.
BMC Ecol.
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Characterizing biodiversity in a habitat or in targeted taxonomically or socioeconomically important groups remains a challenge. Standard DNA-based biodiversity identification tools such as DNA barcoding coupled with high-throughput Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies are rapidly changing the landscape of biodiversity analysis by targeting various habitats and a wide array of organisms. However, effective use of these technological advances requires optimized protocols and benchmarking against traditional tools. Here we investigate the use of commonly used preservative ethanol as a non-destructive and inexpensive source of DNA for NGS biodiversity analysis of benthic macroinvertebrates. We used the preservative ethanol added to field collected organisms (live sorted bulk benthic samples) as a source of community DNA for NGS environmental barcoding. We directly compare this approach with a DNA barcode library generated using Sanger sequencing of all individuals separated from abenthic sample as well as with NGS environmental barcoding of DNA extracted from mixed/homogenized tissue specimens of the same benthic sample. We also evaluate a multiplex PCR strategy, as compared to commonly used single amplicon workflow, using three newly designed primer sets targeting a wide array of benthic macroinvertebrate taxa.
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The golden age of DNA metasystematics.
Trends Genet.
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The convergence of next-generation sequencing and DNA barcoding has sparked a golden age of DNA metasystematics, allowing researchers to understand the biodiversity of an entire ecosystem solely through DNA information, and transforming the way we view the living world around us.
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DNA mini-barcodes.
Methods Mol. Biol.
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Conventional DNA barcoding uses an approximately 650 bp DNA barcode of the mitochondrial gene COI for species identification in animal groups. Similar size fragments from chloroplast genes have been proposed as barcode markers for plants. While PCR amplification and sequencing of a 650 bp fragment is consistent in freshly collected and well-preserved specimens, it is difficult to obtain a full-length barcode in older museum specimens and samples which have been preserved in formalin or similar DNA-unfriendly preservatives. A comparable issue may prevent effective DNA-based authentication and testing in processed biological materials, such as food products, pharmaceuticals, and nutraceuticals. In these cases, shorter DNA sequences-mini-barcodes-have been robustly recovered and shown to be effective in identifying majority of specimens to a species level. Furthermore, short DNA regions can be utilized via high-throughput sequencing platforms providing an inexpensive and comprehensive means of large-scale species identification. These properties of mini-barcodes, coupled with the availability of standardized and universal primers make mini-barcodes a feasible option for DNA barcode analysis in museum samples and applied diagnostic and environmental biodiversity analysis.
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Biomonitoring 2.0: a new paradigm in ecosystem assessment made possible by next-generation DNA sequencing.
Mol. Ecol.
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Biological monitoring has failed to develop from simple binary assessment outcomes of the impacted/unimpacted type, towards more diagnostic frameworks, despite significant scientific effort over the past fifty years. It is our assertion that this is largely because of the limited information content of biological samples processed by traditional morphology-based taxonomy, which is a slow, imprecise process, focused on restricted groups of organisms. We envision a new paradigm in ecosystem assessment, which we refer to as ‘Biomonitoring 2.0’. This new schema employs DNA-based identification of taxa, coupled with high-throughput DNA sequencing on next-generation sequencing platforms. We discuss the transformational nature of DNA-based approaches in biodiversity discovery and ecosystem assessment and outline a path forward for their future widespread application.
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Wolbachia and DNA barcoding insects: patterns, potential, and problems.
PLoS ONE
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Wolbachia is a genus of bacterial endosymbionts that impacts the breeding systems of their hosts. Wolbachia can confuse the patterns of mitochondrial variation, including DNA barcodes, because it influences the pathways through which mitochondria are inherited. We examined the extent to which these endosymbionts are detected in routine DNA barcoding, assessed their impact upon the insect sequence divergence and identification accuracy, and considered the variation present in Wolbachia COI. Using both standard PCR assays (Wolbachia surface coding protein--wsp), and bacterial COI fragments we found evidence of Wolbachia in insect total genomic extracts created for DNA barcoding library construction. When >2 million insect COI trace files were examined on the Barcode of Life Datasystem (BOLD) Wolbachia COI was present in 0.16% of the cases. It is possible to generate Wolbachia COI using standard insect primers; however, that amplicon was never confused with the COI of the host. Wolbachia alleles recovered were predominantly Supergroup A and were broadly distributed geographically and phylogenetically. We conclude that the presence of the Wolbachia DNA in total genomic extracts made from insects is unlikely to compromise the accuracy of the DNA barcode library; in fact, the ability to query this DNA library (the database and the extracts) for endosymbionts is one of the ancillary benefits of such a large scale endeavor--which we provide several examples. It is our conclusion that regular assays for Wolbachia presence and type can, and should, be adopted by large scale insect barcoding initiatives. While COI is one of the five multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) genes used for categorizing Wolbachia, there is limited overlap with the eukaryotic DNA barcode region.
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Next-generation sequencing technologies for environmental DNA research.
Mol. Ecol.
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Since 2005, advances in next-generation sequencing technologies have revolutionized biological science. The analysis of environmental DNA through the use of specific gene markers such as species-specific DNA barcodes has been a key application of next-generation sequencing technologies in ecological and environmental research. Access to parallel, massive amounts of sequencing data, as well as subsequent improvements in read length and throughput of different sequencing platforms, is leading to a better representation of sample diversity at a reasonable cost. New technologies are being developed rapidly and have the potential to dramatically accelerate ecological and environmental research. The fast pace of development and improvements in next-generation sequencing technologies can reflect on broader and more robust applications in environmental DNA research. Here, we review the advantages and limitations of current next-generation sequencing technologies in regard to their application for environmental DNA analysis.
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