Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

DNA barcoding to monitor marine mammal genetic diversity

Date:
December 30, 2013
Source:
Pensoft Publishers
Summary:
Marine mammals are flagship and charismatic species. Attractive for the general public, nowadays, they are also considered as highly relevant sentinel of the marine realm as indicator for environmental change. A recent article suggests that the use of DNA barcoding in conjunction with a stranding network will clearly increase the accuracy of the monitoring of marine mammal biodiversity.

A fin whale, Balaenoptera physalus, is shown stranded on the "Île de Sein" during May 2011.
Credit: Réseau national français d'échouage; CC-BY 4.0

Marine mammals are flagship and charismatic species, very attractive for the general public. Nowadays, they are also considered as highly relevant sentinel of the marine realm. Their presence and their welfare in an area is thought to indicate the health of the place, whereas their disappearance, their displacement, or a decrease in their abundance or health could reflect negative environmental changes, whether of anthropogenic origin or not.

Monitoring marine mammal biodiversity is often difficult to perform. If some species can be easily observed, others are more difficult to detect, because for instance, of their scarcity or their discrete behavior. One of the solution suggested by scientists is based on the organization of stranding networks, listing and recording marine mammal strandings, which represent a cost-effective means to follow the marine mammal biodiversity.

Researchers from Océanopolis and from the Laboratory BioGeMME (Biologie et Génétique des Mammifères Marins dans leur Environnement) of the University of Brest, in collaboration with the Parc naturel marin d'Iroise and PELAGIS, have evaluated the usefulness of DNA barcoding in the monitoring of marine mammal biodiversity. They confirmed the species identifications performed by field correspondents, identified degraded carcasses or parts of carcasses, and examined intraspecific genetic variations for the harbour porpoise and the grey seal, undetectable by visual observation.

The conclusions of their study, published in a special issue of the open access journal Zookeys dedicated to DNA barcoding (DNA barcoding: a practical tool for fundamental and applied biodiversity research), are that the use of DNA barcoding in conjunction with a stranding network will clearly increase the accuracy of the monitoring of marine mammal biodiversity. Global climate change, as well as more localized environmental changes (some of which are caused by humans), has impacts on the marine realm. A routine use of DNA barcoding to monitor marine mammal biodiversity will clearly increase our capacity to detect such impacts, which is a necessary first step to take appropriate conservation measures.

In France, the French marine mammal stranding recording program has been created at the beginning of the 70s by the CRMM (Centre de Recherche sur les Mammifères Marins, La Rochelle, presently the Joint Service Unit PELAGIS, UMS 3462, University of La Rochelle- CNRS). The network comprises about 260 field correspondents, members of organizations or volunteers (Peltier et al. 2013, PloS One, e62180).

In Brittany (a region located at the northwest of France), the network is coordinated by Océanopolis in Brest. In this area, and all species included, an average of 150 animals strand each year, representing, in the last ten years, 14 species of cetaceans and five species of pinnipeds. These species include for instance, common and bottlenose dolphins, harbour porpoises, but also larger animals like minke whales and fin whales. Some rare stranding events include deep-diving or exotic species, such as arctic seals.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Pensoft Publishers. The original story is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Eric Alfonsi, Eleonore Méheust, Sandra Fuchs, François-Gilles Carpentier, Yann Quillivic, Amélia Viricel, Sami Hassani, Jean-Luc Jung. The use of DNA barcoding to monitor the marine mammal biodiversity along the French Atlantic coast. ZooKeys, 2013; 365: 5 DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.365.5873

Cite This Page:

Pensoft Publishers. "DNA barcoding to monitor marine mammal genetic diversity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131230135048.htm>.
Pensoft Publishers. (2013, December 30). DNA barcoding to monitor marine mammal genetic diversity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131230135048.htm
Pensoft Publishers. "DNA barcoding to monitor marine mammal genetic diversity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131230135048.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

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
Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) — Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) 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