Non-destructive genome skimming for aquatic copepods

Vinod Vakati*, Steven Dodsworth

*Corresponding author for this work

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Copepods are important ecologically and represent a large amount of aquatic biomass in both freshwater and marine systems. Despite this, the taxonomy of copepods and other meiofauna is not well understood, hampered by tiny sizes, cryptic taxa, intraspecific polymorphisms and total specimen destruction where DNA methods are employed. In this article we highlight these issues and propose a more up-to-date approach for dealing with them. Namely, we recommend non-destructive DNA extraction methods, coupled with high-throughput sequencing (HTS). Whilst DNA yields may be low, they should still be sufficient for HTS library preparation and DNA sequencing. At the same time morphological specimens can be preserved and the crucial link between morphology and DNA sequence is maintained. This is critical for an integrative taxonomy and a fuller understanding of biodiversity patterns as well as evolutionary processes in meiofauna.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-520
Number of pages6
JournalConservation Genetics Resources
Issue number3
Early online date21 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020


  • DNA barcoding
  • genome skimming
  • high-throughput sequencing
  • mitogenomics
  • non-destructive DNA extraction
  • systematics


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