Throwback Thursday; HYPCOP workshop on the museum


The undertaking of finding out 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 accessible right here, in Norway. It’s difficult as there are greater than 700 species described, and presumably extra. With pandemic lockdowns, it was arduous to have worldwide specialists come and assist us, so we needed to depend on assets accessible regionally. With so many institutes concerned from completely different corners of Norway, it was not all the time straightforward to fulfill up bodily to work on our assortment. Therefore, when it occurs, it’s a memorable occasion, and invaluable progress for the undertaking is made.

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

Now we have Tone Falkenhaug because the undertaking chief, located on the Institute of Marine Analysis in Flødevigen (IMR), than we now 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 acquired collectively in Flødevigen, so for 2021 we determined that it might 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 undertaking we managed to construct up a considerable assortment of benthic copepods; at the moment we now have round 460 registered specimens, and 195 off these are barcoded with two completely different DNA markers, mitochondrial (COI) and ribosomal (16S). What retains forward of us is the monster process of working by 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 acquired collectively to work by 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 the samples one after the other. It is vitally satisfying to have the ability to establish 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 establish species based mostly on morphology.

Not all species are straightforward 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 danger of contamination of different surrounding DNA, particularly should you work with extra normal markers. Apart from, even when we now have the DNA barcode, not all copepod DNA is recognized as such, which signifies that even with the suitable DNA, when working it by the database, it tells us that we now have fly DNA, to offer an instance. Final however not least, in plenty of circumstances, we weren’t in a position to 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 establish the suitable 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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