Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New DNA sequencing reveals hidden communities

Date:
November 15, 2010
Source:
Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR)
Summary:
A mug full of sand from an unassuming beach in Scotland has revealed a far richer and more complex web of microscopic creatures living within the tiny 'ecosystem' than have previously been identified. A new study shows how this was achieved using a new method that allows DNA sequencing for large samples of meiofaunal (small animals living in marine sediments).

Some of the marine meiofauna examples.
Credit: Image courtesy of Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR)

A mug full of sand from an unassuming beach in Scotland has revealed a far richer and more complex web of microscopic creatures living within the tiny 'ecosystem' than have previously been identified.

Related Articles


A paper published in the new online journal Nature Communications shows how this was achieved using a new method that allows DNA sequencing for large samples of meiofaunal (small animals living in marine sediments). The new technique is set to transform current methods of species identification and environmental analysis, providing new insights into the structure and size of those communities as well as new potential applications.

The project was part of the PhD thesis of Vera Fonseca (Centre of Marine Sciences -- CCMAR's member) and was conducted by an international team, led by Dr. Simon Creer at Bangor University and had also the participation of Prof. Deborah Power (CCMAR -- University of Algarve).

The team was able to identify and quantify high numbers of different species within a small sample indicating they contained large communities of these small animals (ranging between 45 microns- 1mm). Developed to assess communities within seabed sediments, the technique could be adopted for any ecosystem inhabited by microscopic organisms.

"The sequencing techniques are orders of magnitude faster and cheaper than traditional approaches. To complete the same work using traditional methods would take unquantifiable years of working hours to manually identify each individual species from a sample," said Fonseca, lead author.

In the year of Biodiversity it is important to highlight how essential these studies are for the world largest habitat: the marine sediments. The new method paves the way for future research into topics as diverse as climate change, the effect of pollution on ecosystem health and the distribution of meiofauna from the deep sea to the polar environments.

"For the first time it was possible to access levels of biodiversity from marine communities using pyrosequencing techniques, which can be applied to habitats as rich and important as the Ria Formosa," adds Prof. Power.

The project was financed by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (Vera Fonseca) and by the Natural Environment Research Council (Simon Creer).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Vera G. Fonseca, Gary R. Carvalho, Way Sung, Harriet F. Johnson, Deborah M. Power, Simon P. Neill, Margaret Packer, Mark L. Blaxter, P. John D. Lambshead, W. Kelley Thomas, Simon Creer. Second-generation environmental sequencing unmasks marine metazoan biodiversity. Nature Communications, 2010; 1 (7): 98 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1095

Cite This Page:

Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR). "New DNA sequencing reveals hidden communities." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101104083104.htm>.
Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR). (2010, November 15). New DNA sequencing reveals hidden communities. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101104083104.htm
Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR). "New DNA sequencing reveals hidden communities." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101104083104.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Antarctic sea ice isn't only expanding, it's thicker than previously thought, and scientists aren't sure exactly why. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A multinational group of scientists have released the first ever detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Using an underwater robot equipped with sonar, the researchers mapped the underside of a massive area of sea ice to gauge the impact of climate change. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins