Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers register new species using DNA-based description

Date:
January 25, 2011
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
The previously unknown species of ribbon worm discovered in Kosterhavet National Park in 2007 has now been scientifically named using a new method. Pseudomicrura afzelii, a form of nemertean or ribbon worm, has been described and registered by researchers using DNA technology.

The previously unknown species of ribbon worm discovered in Kosterhavet National Park in 2007 has now been scientifically named using a new method. Pseudomicrura afzelii, a form of nemertean or ribbon worm, has been described and registered by researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, using DNA technology.

"We've shown that it's possible to move away from the traditional, highly labour-intensive way of describing a new species. Developments in molecular biology have made it possible to determine the genetic code for selected parts of DNA both quickly and cheaply."

So says Malin Strand who, together with Per Sundberg, had the non-traditional description of the new nemertean published in a scientific journal. They have also deposited a type specimen of the species at the Gothenburg Museum of Natural History together with a test tube containing the species' unique DNA. Thus the species has been given its valid formal name and can be counted as a Swedish species -- and the two researchers have opened the door to new methods for determining species.

There are currently around 1.7 million known species of plant and animal, though the actual number is many times higher. To date, every new species has been described and named using the system introduced by Linnaeus in the 18th century, in other words on the basis of similarities of appearance. A species name is valid only once a detailed description of the species has been published and a type specimen has been deposited with a museum. This guarantees the link between the name and the species, and prevents the same name from being used for different species. An international committee keeps track of all valid species names.

"The description of the species is an extremely important part of the naming process. A species without a name just doesn't 'exist'. Without valid names for species, our perception of biological diversity is skewed."

However, this is a time-consuming process that in many cases involves expensive special techniques and specialist expertise. As a result, many new species are not described, but instead remain unprocessed.

Ribbon worms are an example of creatures that are traditionally described using anatomical characteristics, in other words how their internal organs such as intestines, blood vessels and brain are organised and what they look like. The recently published species description means that the two Gothenburg researchers are paving the way for more new species to be registered by linking a species-specific DNA code to a name.

Malin Strand and Per Sundberg from the University of Gothenburg both have links with the Swedish Species Information Centre. The article A DNA-based description of a new nemertean (phylum Nemertea) species has been published in the scientific journal Marine Biology Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Gothenburg. The original article was written by Anita Fors. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Malin Strand, Per Sundberg. A DNA-based description of a new nemertean (phylum Nemertea) species. Marine Biology Research, 2011; 7 (1): 63 DOI: 10.1080/17451001003713563

Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "Researchers register new species using DNA-based description." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110125084405.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2011, January 25). Researchers register new species using DNA-based description. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110125084405.htm
University of Gothenburg. "Researchers register new species using DNA-based description." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110125084405.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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