Climate change is not a future threat anymore

The rate of warming over the past 50 years (0.13 °C ± 0.03 °C per decade) is nearly twice that for the previous 50 years, and the global temperature by 2100 is likely to be 5–12 standard deviations above the Holocene mean. The effects of climate change on some species are already being witnessed, with changes documented in spatial distribution, abundance, demography, phenology and morphology. However, to date, no quantification of the number of species for which…

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Monday reads

Another week that begins with some interesting reads. I find it fascinating that every week I am able to find a good number of academic publications which use DNA-based identifications and/or DNA barcoding in particular. The field is now large enough and gained sufficient momentum that new discoveries and findings appear on a more or less daily basis. As a result every week I am in the fortunate situation to pick a few of many…

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A new gall midge: Contarinia n. sp.

Photo by SRDC Members of the fly family Cecidomyiidae are known as gall midges or gall gnats. Their larvae feed within plant tissue and release chemicals that induce abnormal plant growths called galls. These flies are minute, many of them are less than 1 mm long. They are characterized by hairy wings and have long antennae. More than 6,000 species are currently known to science but this is likely a gross underestimate.Researchers at the Saskatoon Research…

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Potato psyllid detection with DNA barcoding

zebra chip diseaseThe potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli) is a hemipteran native to southern North America. It can significantly impact crop production, attacking a range of plants in the Solanaceae family including potato, tomato, eggplant, capsicum and chilli. The psyllid can also carry the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum, causing the ‘zebra chip’ disease in potato. The latter is a recently diagnosed disease of potatoes that causes discolouration of tubers which often becomes more clear during frying…

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A new amoeba: Arcella gandalfi

Image by Jordana C. Féres & Alfredo L. Porfírio SousaThecamoebians are one of 30-45 lineages of amoebae known to science. During their evolution, they have developed the ability to produce an outer carapace or shell for their own protection.Most amoebae in the genus Arcella  vary considerably in morphology, typically being hemispherical or disk-shaped. Some resemble an Asian rice hat, while others are crown-like with denticulations, small ridges resembling bristles or spines around the edges. The genus…

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A new gecko: Geckolepis megalepis

Image Credit: F. GlawMany lizards can drop their tails when grabbed, but one group of geckos has devised a different method to escape predation. The skin of fish-scale geckos is specially adapted to tearing. The large scales are attached only by a relatively narrow region that tears with ease, and beneath them they have a pre-formed splitting zone within the skin itself. Together, these features make them especially good at escaping from predators. Although several…

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Monday reads

Welcome to another week -  a couple of interesting reads to get you started:Evaluating the diversity of Neotropical anurans using DNA barcodesThis study tested the effectiveness of COI barcodes for the discrimination of anuran species from the Amazon basin and other Neotropical regions. Barcodes were determined for a total of 59 species, with a further 58 species being included from GenBank. In most cases, distinguishing species using the barcodes was straightforward. Each species had a…

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From the inbox: Metabarcoding Spring School 2017

We are pleased to announce that this year the seventh DNA Metabarcoding Spring School will held in Porto (Portugal) and will be organized in collaboration with Simon Jarman and the CBIO Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic resources. The DNA metabarcoding spring school will be held from May 1st to 5th, 2017.The school will be divided in two parts:Two days of lectures, May 1st and 2nd.Three days of practicalsAll the lectures and the practicals will…

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Monday reads

As per usual some new reads at the beginning of the week. Enjoy reading.New Evidences of Mitochondrial DNA Heteroplasmy by Putative Paternal Leakage between the Rock Partridge (Alectoris graeca) and the Chukar Partridge (Alectoris chukar)The rock partridge, Alectoris graeca, is a polytypic species declining in Italy mostly due to anthropogenic causes, including the massive releases of the closely related allochthonous chukar partridge Alectoris chukar which produced the formation of hybrids. Molecular approaches are fundamental for…

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Mark your calendar: Conference Abstract submission

The 7th International Barcode of  Life Conference will be held from November 20 - 24, 2017 at the Nombolo Mdhluli Conference Centre, Skukuza, located within the heart of African wildlife at Kruger National Park, South Africa. Next week, Tuesday 31 January the abstract submission will open. Deadline will be 31 March. I just had the pleasure to be test user for the submission system - very nice and user friendly. Check it out next week when…

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