Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers register new species using DNA-based description

25.01.2011
The previously unknown species of ribbon worm discovered in Kosterhavet National Park in 2007 has now been scientifically named using a new method. Pseudomicrura afzelii, a form of nemertean or ribbon worm, has been described and registered by researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, using DNA technology.

“We’ve shown that it’s possible to move away from the traditional, highly labour-intensive way of describing a new species. Developments in molecular biology have made it possible to determine the genetic code for selected parts of DNA both quickly and cheaply.”

So says Malin Strand who, together with Per Sundberg, had the non-traditional description of the new nemertean published in a scientific journal. They have also deposited a type specimen of the species at the Gothenburg Museum of Natural History together with a test tube containing the species’ unique DNA. Thus the species has been given its valid formal name and can be counted as a

Swedish species – and the two researchers have opened the door to new methods for determining species.

There are currently around 1.7 million known species of plant and animal, though the actual number is many times higher. To date, every new species has been described and named using the system introduced by Linnaeus in the 18th century, in other words on the basis of similarities of appearance. A species name is valid only once a detailed description of the species has been published and a type specimen has been deposited with a museum. This guarantees

the link between the name and the species, and prevents the same name from being used for different species. An international committee keeps track of all valid species names.

“The description of the species is an extremely important part of the naming process. A species without a name just doesn’t ‘exist’. Without valid names for species, our perception of biological diversity is skewed.”

However, this is a time-consuming process that in many cases involves expensive special techniques and specialist expertise. As a result, many new species are not described, but instead remain unprocessed.

Ribbon worms are an example of creatures that are traditionally described using anatomical characteristics, in other words how their internal organs such as intestines, blood vessels and brain are organised and what they look like. The recently published species description means that the two Gothenburg researchers are paving the way for more new species to be registered by linking

a species-specific DNA code to a name.

Malin Strand and Per Sundberg from the University of Gothenburg both have links with the Swedish Species Information Centre.

The article A DNA-based description of a new nemertean (phylum Nemertea) species has been published in the scientific journal Marine Biology Research.

Download the article from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17451001003713563

For further information, please contact:
Malin Strand,
Department of Zoology, University of Gothenburg
+46 (0)70 565 4246
malin.strand@gu.se
Per Sundberg, Department of Zoology, University of Gothenburg
+46 (0)31 786 3658
+46 (0)70 567 3524
per.sundberg@zool.gu.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17451001003713563
http://www.gu.se

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht In living color: Brightly-colored bacteria could be used to 'grow' paints and coatings
20.02.2018 | University of Cambridge

nachricht Computers aid discovery of new, inexpensive material to make LEDs with high color quality
20.02.2018 | University of California - San Diego

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rare find from the deep sea

20.02.2018 | Life Sciences

In living color: Brightly-colored bacteria could be used to 'grow' paints and coatings

20.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Observing and controlling ultrafast processes with attosecond resolution

20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>