Novel approaches are transforming our understanding and appreciation for pelagic biodiversity and the significance for ocean ecosystem function. Metabarcoding (high-throughput DNA sequencing of barcode gene regions from environmental samples) is being widely used for analysis of diversity, distribution, and abundance of marine organisms from microbes to mammals. Metabarcoding allows improved detection of rare, cryptic and novel taxa, resulting in new global estimates of marine biodiversity and new understanding of the dynamics of marine food webs and ecosystems.
There remains many technical and conceptual challenges for analysis and interpretation of metabarcoding results. Research is needed to evaluate and compare results from different marker gene regions and bioinformatics approaches, and for validation and ground-truthing of metabarcoding results. Progress is being made in the use of metabarcoding for quantification of taxon abundance or biomass, examination of trophic interactions and food-web dynamics, remote detection of marine organisms based on eDNA (environmental DNA), and applications for time-series monitoring and ecosystem assessment.
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This symposium is associated with UNESCO - Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES)
Ann Bucklin, University of Connecticut, USA
Bengt Karlson, Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Sweden
Scientific Committee for Ocean Research (SCOR)
MetaZooGene Working Group (SCOR WG157)
Global Harmful Algal Bloom Program GlobalHAB