First go to to Bergen for the Cirratulidae undertaking

We had visitor researcher Maël Grosse visiting the lab earlier this winter. Right here’s a weblog put up from his keep:

As a part of my lately began Artsdatabanken undertaking, I’ve simply accomplished a month lengthy go to right here on the invertebrates collections. It was loads of work, but additionally lots enjoyable. Everybody was very useful, offering me with worms to determine (a actually by no means ending provide!), serving to me with the scanning electron microscope and spending hours discussing worms and taxonomy. 

My undertaking goals to check and map the range of a giant household of polychaetes: Cirratulidae. Cirratulids are notoriously troublesome to determine, having few characters to work with hidden between the mass of tentacles and branchiae they drag round (Fig. 1). They’re fairly frequent and numerous, however poorly identified, which is what I’m aiming to repair.

Fig. 1. A SEM (Scanning Electron Microscopy) picture of a Cirratulid made on the ELMI lab in Bergen.  Photograph: Katrine Kongshavn

Bergen Museum has the biggest assortment of polychaetes in Norway, with samples starting from the North Sea to the Arctic waters of Svalbard, and from the intertidal coastal waters to the abyssal depths of the North-East Atlantic. And certainly, 1000’s of cirratulid polychaetes have been ready on the cabinets to be recognized. As it’s the setting I had been working probably the most with prior to now couple of years, for this go to I made a decision to give attention to deep sea species. This led me to verify samples from everywhere in the Norwegian Sea, together with some distinctive and thrilling environments such because the depths of Sognefjord or hydrothermal vents.

On the finish of the month, over 5500 specimens, belonging to about 23 species have been examined (Fig. 2). Whereas the bulk might be given an title or a species quantity (within the case of as of but unnamed species), many couldn’t be recognized with confidence, as a result of they have been  incomplete specimens or from an space the place a selected species had not been recorded earlier than. There have been even two species I believe I had by no means seen earlier than, which is an excellent end result for the undertaking! In that case, I chosen specimens for DNA barcoding, which can assist confirming their id. I’ve picked out about 300 specimens for barcoding, so now there’s fairly a bit of labor to do again in my residence lab to sequence all of them.

Fig. 2. Cirratulidae samples at UMB. Photograph: Maël Grosse

So ultimately, I’d say it was very productive go to, and I’ll definitely be again for extra worms!

-Maël Grosse

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