Aquatic oligochaete communities are valuable indicators of the biological quality of sediments in streams and lakes, but identification of specimens to the species level based on morphological features requires solid expertise in taxonomy and is possible only for a fraction of specimens present in a sample. The identification of aquatic oligochaetes using DNA barcodes would facilitate their use in biomonitoring and allow a wider use of this taxonomic group for ecological diagnoses.
Aquatic oligochaetes represent valuable indicators of the quality of sediments of watercourses and lakes, but their difficult identification based on morphological criteria compromises their more common use for eco-diagnostic analyses. This issue could be overcome by using DNA barcodes for species identification.
Oligochaetes are valuable bioindicators of the quality of watercourse and lake sediments. The morphological identification of aquatic oligochaetes is difficult, prompting the development of new molecular oligochaete indices based on DNA barcoding and Next-generation sequencing of sorted specimens. In general, the samples for DNA barcoding are fixed in absolute ethanol.
Aquatic oligochaetes are a common group of freshwater benthic invertebrates known to be very sensitive to environmental changes and currently used as bioindicators in some countries. However, more extensive application of oligochaetes for assessing the ecological quality of sediments in watercourses and lakes would require overcoming the difficulties related to morphology-based identification of oligochaetes species.
Aquatic oligochaetes are well recognized bioindicators of quality of sediments and water in watercourses and lakes. However, the difficult taxonomic determination based on morphological features compromises their more common use in eco-diagnostic analyses. To overcome this limitation, we investigated molecular barcodes as identification tool for broad range of taxa of aquatic oligochaetes.