Canadian Forest Service Publications

Scaling up: A guide to high throughput genomic approaches for biodiversity analysis. 2018. Porter, T.M.; Hajibabaei, M. Molecular Ecology 27(2): 313-338.

Year: 2018

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 39095

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1111/mec.14478

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Plain Language Summary

The purpose of this review is to present the most common and emerging DNA-based methods used to generate data for biodiversity and biomonitoring studies. Since environmental assessment and monitoring programs may require biodiversity information at multiple levels, we pay particular attention to the DNA metabarcoding method and discuss a number of bioinformatic tools and considerations for producing DNA-based indicators using operational taxonomic units (OTUs), taxa at a variety of ranks, and community composition. By developing the capacity to harness the advantages provided by the newest technologies, investigators can ‘scale-up’ by increasing the number of samples and replicates processed, the frequency of sampling over time and space, and even the depth of sampling such as by sequencing more reads per sample or more markers per sample. The ability to scale-up is made possible by the reduced hands-on time and cost per sample provided by the newest kits, platforms, and software tools. Results gleaned from broad-scale monitoring will provide an opportunity to address key scientific questions linked to biodiversity and its dynamics across time and space as well as being more relevant for policy makers, enabling science-based decision making, and provide a greater socio-economic impact. Since genomic approaches are continually evolving, we provide this guide to methods used in biodiversity genomics.