Summary of National Barcoding Activities for PortugalDynamic DNA barcoding activities across marine and terrestrial ecosystems in Portugal, including important contributions to iBOL's bioinformatics capacity.
University of Minho, Braga, Portugal
Barcoding activities in Portugal have been particularly dynamic over the past couple of years. On the marine front, a key framework for progress has been the research grant NEXT-SEA (http://nextsea.org, Centre of Molecular and Environmental Biology (CBMA), University of Minho). It aims to develop and implement autonomous multi-parameter monitoring stations for in situ deployment which will include artificial substrates for bethic colonisation. DNA metabarcoding has been used to monitor macrozoobenthos colonisation of these substrates and to assess the spatial variability of estuarine meiofauna in northwest Iberia.
A recently granted research project (NIS-DNA coordinated by CBMA) intends to apply DNA metabarcoding to monitor non-indigenous species (NIS) in ports and marinas across the country, including the Azores and Madeira archipelagos. A continuing effort has been dedicated to populating the reference libraries for marine life. Among other examples, a current PhD thesis is fully dedicated to investigating cryptic diversity in polychaetes (Annelida) of the north-eastern Atlantic.
The CIBIO-InBIO research centre at the University of Porto has been providing an impressive contribution to the reference libraries for terrestrial organisms, especially insects, among which 2,400 species have already been barcoded. Also at CIBIO-InBIO, there are various ongoing projects developing or applying metabarcoding approaches with particular focus on the bioassessment of freshwater ecosystems.
Finally, a noteworthy event was the launching of a new supercomputer facility named Minho Advanced Computing Centre (MACC) at the University of Minho, which will provide an exceptional opportunity for a significant improvement of iBOL’s bioinformatics capacity and for the development of large-scale bioinformatics research projects through MACC and iBOL partnerships.
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