Category Archives: BOLD

Guest researchers: Mario

Mario, on his temporary spot in the lab, studying spaghetti worms

Mario, on his temporary spot in the lab, studying spaghetti worms

Mario, whose home institution is the University of Antioquia, in Medellin, Colombia, arrived here in the beginning of January.

During Mario’s month-long stay he was examining the collection of terebellids from West Africa and the museum’s collection of the bristle worm genus Pista, much of which will later be barcoded though NorBOL (for the Norwegian material) and MIWA (for our West African samples).

 

Verticilate chaetae from one of the polycirrinae species photographed through a microscope (photo: MHL)

Verticilate chaetae from one of the polycirrinae species photographed through a microscope (photo: MHL)

Methyl-green staining pattern of one of Pista species.

Methyl-green staining pattern of one of Pista species.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In his own words:

I usually work on the morphology of just one of the several families of polychaetes, the spaghetti worms or Terebellidae. This visit has been very important since we have been able to separate four Pista species from the North Sea, using both morphological and molecular tools. “The combination of these two different methods has been superb”.

Jon, Arne and I began this study during August 2014, but this never will end because we are continuing with more material. The recent findings have been the significance of some characters that did not have taxonomical importance in the past. Now, they are the clue for splitting very close species.

But this is not enough; it was possible to identified 43 species of terebellids belonging to 16 different genera, from material collected in West Africa coasts. This is a high polychaete diversity in only one family. For example, we found three Lysilla species, in one region with only one recorded species. New species? Highly possible. One can only wonder what the diversity of the remaining families is?

All this was accompanied with a perfect view through the window, seeing it snow some days, or watching the Sun on the mountains in front; some times with white top mountains, sometimes with a deep blue sky. A landscape like that never could be my company in my tropical city.

Snowy view from the lab window

Snowy view from the lab window

Thank you for the visit!

Preparing plates

Today, the mail brought us this:

New plates for tissue samples!

New plates for tissue samples!

A good thing too, as we were running out of plates to fill. We are currently busy preparing four (possibly five) plates of material from the west coast of Africa.

There will be one plate of Amphipoda, which we have not submitted from this region previously (resulting from the workshop that Anne Helene and Ania had in December).

The remainder of the shipment will be polychaetes that have been identified both by our resident taxonomists and the guests that came here to work on the material over the past couple of months; São, Julio, Kate, and –most recently – Mario.

Mario at work in the lab

Mario at work in the lab

Mario arrived here on the 4th of January, and stayed for a month – we’ll make a proper post about his work here in a bit (he is currently on his way to field work in the Antarctic, but has promised a post later on). His main field of interest are Terebellomorph polychaetes, and he focussed especially on the genus Pista during his stay.

So now we are working on organizing, photographing, cataloguing and otherwise preparing the material – our guest have been busy, so there is a wealth of new data to deal with.

Tools of the trade

Tools of the trade

Tom taking tissue samples for two plates of Ampharetidae and other Terebellomorph polychaetes

Tom taking tissue samples for two plates of Ampharetidae and other Terebellomorph polychaetes

Photos and data entry

Photos and data entry

We have new guests arriving in a few days; there’s plenty to do. Stay tuned for updates!

Let’s hope for successful sequencing and many interesting results!

PS: make sure to check invertebrate.w.uib.no this Friday (the 12th) for some Biodiversity Love; the JRS Biodiversity Foundation has asked us to

Please share your love of biodiversity this Valentine’s Day with the hashtag #bdvalentine. Have fun and help raise awareness of biodiversity and conservation!  This is a chance to draw your audience to your social media and to express appreciation for your partners, grantees, collaborators, or someone you love.”

We are joining in, don’t miss out!

#bdvalentine

Guest Researchers: Kate

Collecting Magelona samples on my favourite sampling beach, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland. A beach known to many polychaetologists through the work of naturalist George Johnston.

Collecting Magelona samples on my favourite sampling beach, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland. A beach known to many polychaetologists through the work of naturalist George Johnston.

Earlier this month we had a visit from Kate Mortimer from Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales. In her own words:

Magelonid polychaetes – Shovelhead worms

7th – 15th November

I have been specialising in the taxonomy of magelonid polychaetes for the last 15 years, particularly the investigation of species from Europe and the Indian Ocean. More recently I have been additionally studying the behaviour and functional morphology of this fascinating group.

 

 

 

Making drawings of specimens from the MIWA project back at the National Museum Wales, Cardiff.

Making drawings of specimens from the MIWA project back at the National Museum Wales, Cardiff.

Discussions with Jon Anders Kongsrud at the University Museum of Bergen (UMB) started at the International Polychaete Conference in Lecce 2010 about the MIWA-Project and the magelonid species off West Africa. I started work investigating the magelonid specimens from the MIWA-project back in 2013. Early investigation work suggested the possibility of up to 16 putative species from the samples, which potentially included several species new to science. So the work began, on the lengthy process of drawing, describing and imaging each individual species back at the National Museum Wales, in Cardiff.

 

 

Imaging a Magelona

Imaging a Magelona, this specimen has a distinct thoracic pigment band

Whilst work continued looking at the morphology of these specimens it was decided that it would be prudent to come to the University Museum of Bergen to look at additional magelonid specimens from further MIWA samples, in order to select samples for DNA sequencing. The week would further cement morphological descriptions and to search for additional material of the rarer species within samples. So in November I took the trip to Bergen, leaving a wet and windy Cardiff behind and arriving in an equally wet and windy city!

After a week in the lab, over 100 vials of specimens and over 800 specimens have been studied. A further four potential species have been identified and the material is now ready for tissue sampling and photographing before the material is sent off to Canada for sequencing.

Working in the lab

Working in the lab

Magelonid samples processed and identified, awaiting sequencing.

Magelonid samples processed and identified, awaiting sequencing.

It has been a successful week, and I am very much looking forward to comparing the results from the sequencing to the morphology of these animals. Meanwhile back in Cardiff, we have selected specimens of similar British species for comparison to the West African material and Norwegian species.

Many thanks to all at the Museum for making me feel so welcome in Bergen. I very much look forward to collaborating with you on this project and look forward to some fascinating and interesting results from the project.

Guest Researchers: Williams and Lloyd

Lloyd (left) and Williams.  (photo: Williams)

Lloyd (left) and Williams. (photo: Williams)

Goniada congoensis collected in Nigeria

Goniada congoensis collected in Nigeria

A Glycera africana collected from Ghana

A Glycera africana collected from Ghana

A Goniada multidentata from Ghana

A Goniada multidentata from Ghana

For the past two weeks we have had two old friends visiting to work on the material collected through the MIWA-project:

Lloyd from Ghana, who has previously been here to participate in the first of our workshops in the Espegrend field station, and Williams from Nigeria, who has been both on the Espegrend workshops and who also included a visit to the Museum as a guest researcher in combination with the workshop visit last summer.

This time around, the focus has been on Polychaetes from the suborder Glyceriformia, mainly within the families Glyceridae (bloodworms) and Goniadidae.

Our visitors have been working on identifying specimens from a variety of countries, and selecting specimens from the different (morpho)species so that we could proceed to start work on a plate of Glyceriform worms that will  be sent to Canada for sequencing.

We have gone through the whole process of identification, section, photographing, metadata assembly and the creation of accounts and projects in the BOLD database, where our sequences will be uploaded.

It will be very interesting to see the results!

Photographing and keeping records of the animals selected for barcoding

Photographing and keeping records of the animals selected for barcoding (photo: Williams)

Ready to take tissue samples to be sent to Canada for sequencing

Ready to take tissue samples to be sent to Canada for sequencing (photo: Williams)

 

Thank you for visiting, and for all your hard work!

Guest Researchers

IMGP0472The invertebrate collections are high in demand these days, and we have a string of visitors coming here to examine our material. They range from students just starting out to well established researchers – some are new to us, others are old friends returning.

Amongst the latter is São from the University of Aveiro, Portugal. She works with polychaetes in the family Nephtyidae, and came for a short visit in October. In her own words:

18-23 October: After an amazingly (for Bergen ☺) sunny Sunday, with a wonderful walk in the mountains, I had a very productive week looking through nephtyids from Western Africa.

More than 300 specimens were examined and ascribed to 13 putative species. The results were very exiting! Interesting distribution patterns and a couple of potentially new species for science. Now we are waiting for barcodes…                                                       -São

We have also had a Russian student visiting for two weeks earlier this fall. Polina worked on polychaetes in the family Onuphidae together with Nataliya, and will continue to work on some of the material that she examined. Currently we have visitors from Ghana and Nigeria, and that will be the next blog post – so stay tuned!

Available DNA barcodes to gastropods

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Our joint efforts in producing DNA barcodes for West African gastropods have been moderately successful with sequences generated for about 55 % of the species.

Data for successful as well as failed specimens are available on this page.

A pop-up window is displayed by clicking on the blue markers. In this example, there is a BARCODED specimen of Nassarius atlantideus. Notice the processID, MIWAM050-13, which can be used to access the specimen in the BOLD database.

Open BOLD in your web browser. Select “Databases from the top menu. Type the processID in the search field and it will bring you to the species information page,

Starstruck

Following the workshop on the brittle stars – the Ophiuroidea – that we arranged earlier this fall, we have a lot of samples that have been selected for DNA barcoding. These are in the pipeline for photographing, and the photographer is currently seeing stars…

Below is a sample of the animals, each animal is photographed twice; dorsal and ventral view.

Brittle stars

Brittle stars en masse – we plan on filling two plates this time around, so in total there will be 380 photograps.

Presentation at the 8th International Crustacean Congress (ICC-8)

Almost 300 researchers from many nations were convened last week at the beautiful Campus Westend of the Goethe–University in Frankfurt for the 8th International Crustacean Congress (ICC-8). Many interesting talks and high quality posters were presented over six days. A special workshop on DNA-identification and barcoding filled the auditorium to the the edge and left many attendants standing through the session. EW gave a 15 minutes talk on results from our barcoding of decapods and stomatopods. He particularly emphasized how barcoding can reveal discordant species identifications among different labs and research environments and pinpoint the need for reidentification and / or taxonomic revision of species.Copy of GoetheUnivFrankfurtICC-8_presentation

The Casino building of the Goethe University

 

 

 

Participant snapshots – Williams

williams Name: Akanbi Bamikole Williams

Home Institution: Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research

What do you work with at home? I am a Principal Research Officer at my home institution with special interest in fish biology, fisheries management and benthic ecology. Presently working on marine fauna diversity in Nigeria.

What are you working on here?  I have been working on taxonomic details of different families of polychaetes and some other animal groups (Molluscs and Crustatceans). I am also going through the process of preparing samples for DNA Barcoding – specimen selection, filling-in the various data sheets, taking photographs of specimens, tissues extraction and the final plate preparation. It’s been a wonderful experience.

Bristle worms from the family Maldanidae. Of of the techniques used for distinguishing the different species is to stain the animals with colours and use the patterning that results as a morphological character

Bristle worms from the family Maldanidae. One of the techniques used for separating different species is to stain the animals with colour  and use the patterning that results as a morphological character

Stained Maldanids

Stained Maldanids

Participant snapshots – Trond

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Name: Trond R. Oskars

Home institution: University Museum of Bergen, Norway (blog here)

What do you work with at home?

Samples, big and small

Samples, big and small

I have recently been working on preparing material for the workshop by sorting benthic samples from the West-African coast, paying particular attention to the Bivalvia (clams, oysters, cockles etc.) and the Ophistobranchs (a group of gastropods/snails), as these are some of the focus groups for the workshop.   I defined the specimens to morphospecies and/or genus, to ease the work for the experts who will be working on identifying them to species. I am also preparing papers on Cephalaspidea and Philinidae (snails) from my master thesis work, and preparing to start my Ph.D.

Jar upon jar upon jar of molluscs

Jar upon jar upon jar of molluscs

Creating some order

Organizing

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are you working on here?IMG_0184

On the workshop I have been nominated as the “gastropod team”. The previous workshop got a lot of nice results on the gastropods, and it was decided to continue the work this year. My task is to organize the species by family, and pick suitable specimens from target families that we wish to do DNA barcoding on, prepare the barcoding samples, and keep the database up to date.