iDiv newsletter December 2022 | Projects and Cooperations

Research area:
Molecular Biodiversity and Adaptation

Next steps towards implementing the iDiv Barcoding Initiative (iBarc)

by Martin Schlegel (UL, iDiv), Martina Herrmann (Univ. of Jena, iDiv) and Luis Salcedo (UFZ)

Barcoding is a widely used tool for rapid taxonomic determination, detection of hidden diversity, comprehensive monitoring, taxonomic and functional community composition in space and time, and many more. The iDiv Barcoding Initiative (iBarc) was started by Martin Schlegel (UL, iDiv), Martina Herrmann (Univ. of Jena, iDiv) and Luis Daniel Prada Salcedo (UFZ) to strengthen and further develop barcoding research at iDiv.

On the 2nd iBarc workshop at iDiv on 7 and 8 November 2022, which was kindly supported by iDiv scientific event funds, some 30 participants (i) discussed enthusiastically how to foster exchange of expertise among working groups, (ii) developed project ideas for the initiation of overarching and integrative barcoding projects, and (iii) ideas on how to establish iBarc at iDiv. Here are the results:

We are planning to establish an information center to foster individual collaborations for support with sampling and molecular workflows. We will organise courses and workshops to teach sequence analysis pipelines and downstream statistical analyses, and establish an online communication platform for continuous exchange.

First ideas for metabarcoding-driven joint research projects include:

  • The role of protists in trophic interactions (combining metabarcoding, metatranscriptomics, and flow cytometry)
  • Integrative assessment of community composition and determinants in the Leipzig floodplain forest canopy over space and time (“from bacteria to bats”)
  • Functional analyses of complex species interactions
  • Rewilding of different taxonomic groups in renaturation areas (e. g., Oderbruch).
  • Next steps will be to establish an iBarc-Taproot project at iDiv including two building blocks: (i) the iBarc-Information Center for hands-on support in theoretical and practical issues, organising seminars, courses, workshops and (ii) the iBarc-Research Centre for establishing and conducting overarching and integrative research projects.

Overall, iBarc will open and strengthen new fields of iDiv research and future collaboration within and beyond iDiv. We encourage and cordially invite interested iDiv researchers to join our endeavour.


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