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Abstract Detail

Frontiers in Botany: Environmental DNA as an Emerging Tool for Measuring, Monitoring, and Managing Plant Biodiversity

Parducci, Laura [1], Nota, Kevin [2].

The significance of plant ancient DNA studies from lake sediments: where are we and where are we going.

One of the great challenges for science today is to explain what has shaped and is shaping the biodiversity we see around us today. Before molecular techniques became available, species were identified in the fossil record by phenotypic characters. Today, a large array of approaches has become available for directly analyzing the DNA of past organisms (ancient DNA [aDNA]) and in particular lake sediments have shown to the best sources for investigating past plant biodiversity. By using the metabarcoding approach and universal barcodes (the P6 loop) the aDNA research field has achieved important results in reconstructing past vegetation environments starting from lake sediments. The use of custom-made DNA reference libraries has been a critical and important part of this success. The average taxonomic resolution using the metabarcoding approach is high, allowing to detect a large proportion of the dominant plant species that once lived around lakes. However, the detection of rare species is more complicated due to yet unknown taphonomic processes that cause some species' DNA to be unevenly distributed in the  sediments and by the low taxonomic resolution achieved in some cases (family level). We are now testing an alternative sequencing approach, called shotgun sequencing, in combination with capture hybridization techniques to gain higher taxonomic resolution and potentially also obtain quantitative biodiversity information from lake sediments.  In this talk we will show two case studies where both approaches have been used to help to investigate long-standing questions in plant paleoecology like the location of postglacial microrefugia at high latitudes and the rate of plant recolonization of northern Europe as well as the possibility of using pollen to investigate past genetic diversity at the population level.

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1 - Sapienza University of Rome, Department of Environmental Biology, Rome, Italy
2 - Uppsala University, Department of Ecology and Genetics-Evolutionary Biology Centre, Norbyvägen 18 D, Uppsala, SE-752 36 , Sweden

lake sediments
rare species
plant paleoecology.

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Session: SY3, Frontiers in Botany: Environmental DNA as an Emerging Tool for Measuring, Monitoring, and Managing Plant Biodiversity
Location: /
Date: Tuesday, July 20th, 2021
Time: 1:00 PM(EDT)
Number: SY3008
Abstract ID:640
Candidate for Awards:None

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