February 1st to 5th 2016
Olhão, Portugal
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Development of a novel molecular tool for the rapid assessment of the biodiversity changes of benthic nematodes assemblages

Oral Presentation
Biodiversity Effects
Thursday, February 4, 2016 -
11:45 to 12:00

Avó, A.P. 1 Daniell, T. 2 Nielson, R. 3 Oliveira, S. 4 Adão, H. 5

1MARE- Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, University of Evora
2The James Hutton Institute, Sustainable Production Systems
3The James Hutton Institute
4University of Evora
5MARE- Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, University of Evora

The molecular profiling systemwas developed using directed terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism (dT-RFLP) to characterize soil nematode assemblages by relative abundance of feeding guilds and validation by comparison to traditional morphological method. The good performance of these molecular tools applied to soil nematodes assemblages create an opportunity to develop a novel approach for rapid assessment of the biodiversity changes of benthic nematodes assemblages of marine and estuarine sediments. The main aim of this research is to combine morphological and molecular analysis of estuarine nematodes assemblages, to establish a tool for fast assessment of the biodiversity changes within habitat recovery of Zostera noltii seagrass beds; and validate the dT-RFLP as a high-throughput tool to assess the system recovery. It was also proposed to develop a database of sequences related to individuals identified at species level to develop a new taxonomic reference system. A molecular phylogenetic analysis of the estuarine nematodes has being performed. After morphological identification, barcoding of 18S rDNA are being determined for each nematode species and the results have shown a good degree of concordance between traditional morphology-based identification and DNA sequences. The digest strategy developed for soil nematodes is not suitable for marine nematodes. Then five samples were cloned and sequenced and the sequence data was used to design a new dT-RFLP strategy to adapt this tool to marine assemblages. Several solutions were presented by DRAT and tested empirically to select the solution that cuts most efficiently, separating the different clusters.The results of quantitative PCR showed differences in nematode density between two sampling stations according the abundance of the nematode density obtained by the traditional methods. These results suggest that qPCR could be a robust tool for enumeration of nematode abundance, saving time.
keywords: 
dt-RFLP, new molecular tool, marine nematodes, assessment biodiversity changes

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