Throwback Thursday; HYPCOP workshop on the museum

The mission of learning hyperbenthic copepods (HYPCOP) is exclusive in a number of methods; we research a really unknown group of marine copepod species with little or no taxonomic data obtainable right here, in Norway. It’s difficult as there are greater than 700 species described, and probably extra. With pandemic lockdowns, it was laborious to have worldwide specialists come and assist us, so we needed to depend on assets obtainable regionally. With so many institutes concerned from totally different corners of Norway, it was not at all times simple to satisfy up bodily to work on our assortment. Therefore, when it occurs, it’s a memorable occasion, and priceless progress for the mission is made.

One of many many species of copepod now we have right here within the assortment on the UiB museum

We’ve got Tone Falkenhaug because the mission chief, located on the Institute of Marine Analysis in Flødevigen (IMR), than now we have our collaborator from Norwegian Institute for Water Analysis (NIVA), Anders Hobæk and the three technicians on the division of pure historical past from the College of Bergen. The 12 months earlier than all of us received collectively in Flødevigen, so for 2021 we determined that it could be Bergen to have one other workshop.

From ltr; Anders Hobæk, Cessa Rauch, Tone Falkenhaug and Francisca Carvalho making the image

A 12 months into our mission we managed to construct up a considerable assortment of benthic copepods; presently now we have round 460 registered specimens, and 195 off these are barcoded with two totally different DNA markers, mitochondrial (COI) and ribosomal (16S). What retains forward of us is the monster activity of working by means of our specimens to label the DNA barcodes with morphological identifications. It means many hours of very exact work with the best needles, whereas sitting on the microscope.

Throughout our workshop in Bergen we received collectively to work by means of one of many copepod household timber we generated from their DNA:

Preliminary tree of the COI mitochondrial marker

Anders Hobæk is a taxonomist with a few years of expertise dissecting copepods, and collectively we went by means of the samples one after the other. It is extremely satisfying to have the ability to determine a specimen and get the to the identical species degree because the DNA barcode. There are a number of causes as why we select to determine species primarily based on morphology.

Not all species are simple to barcode, as copepods, particularly the benthic ones, are sometimes so extraordinarily tiny; it’s tough to get good high quality DNA extracted from them.

Copepods are tiny; this one with scalebar

The small portions of copepod DNA goes hand in hand with larger threat of contamination of different surrounding DNA, particularly in case you work with extra common markers. Apart from, even when now we have the DNA barcode, not all copepod DNA is recognized as such, which implies that even with the correct DNA, when working it by means of the database, it tells us that now we have fly DNA, to offer an instance. Final however not least, in plenty of instances, we weren’t capable of get good DNA sequences from the copepod extracts, so the one possibility is figuring out them morphologically, by dissecting the animals and with assist of literature determine the correct genus, and even higher, the species.

Species identification with assist of literature, right here a web page from G.O. Sars

Our subsequent workshop shall happen once more in Flødevigen, within the meantime we hold you up to date about our planet of the copepods.

Observe us for extra copepod content material @planetcopepod, see you there!



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