DNA barcoding of formalin-fixed aquatic oligochaetes for biomonitoring

Jul 13, 2016 | Freshwater ecosystems, Oligochaetes – Evaluation of sediment quality

Vivien R, Ferrari B, Pawlowski J
BMC Res. Notes 2016;9(1):342.


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. However, in the case of aquatic oligochaetes, this medium is not appropriate as it can induce a modification of specimen abundances and of the composition of communities. Therefore, we investigated the possibility to amplify and sequence aquatic oligochaetes fixed in formalin for a short time. We performed guanidine extraction and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification/sequencing of the cytochrome c oxydase I (COI) gene on tissue fragments fixed in formalin for different periods of time (from 1 h to 1 week) and in ethanol.

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