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Comparing species detection success between molecular markers in DNA metabarcoding of coastal macroinvertebrates
Leite, B.R.; Vieira, P.E.; Troncoso, J.S.; Costa, F.O. (2021). Comparing species detection success between molecular markers in DNA metabarcoding of coastal macroinvertebrates. Metabarcoding and Metagenomics 5: e70063.
In: Metabarcoding and Metagenomics. Pensoft Publishers: Sofia. e-ISSN 2534-9708, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    COI, 18S, DNA metabarcoding, marine macrozoobenthic diversity, primer efficiency, taxonomic discrimination

Authors  Top 
  • Leite, B.R.
  • Vieira, P.E.
  • Troncoso, J.S.
  • Costa, F.O.

    DNA metabarcoding has great potential to improve marine biomonitoring programs by providing a rapid and accurate assessment of species composition in zoobenthic communities. However, some methodological improvements are still required, especially regarding failed detections, primers efficiency and incompleteness of databases. Here we assessed the efficiency of two different marker loci (COI and 18S) and three primer pairs in marine species detection through DNA metabarcoding of the macrozoobenthic communities colonizing three types of artificial substrates (slate, PVC and granite), sampled between 3 and 15 months of deployment. To accurately compare detection success between markers, we also compared the representativeness of the detected species in public databases and revised the reliability of the taxonomic assignments. Globally, we recorded extensive complementarity in the species detected by each marker, with 69% of the species exclusively detected by either 18S or COI. Individually, each of the three primer pairs recovered, at most, 52% of all species detected on the samples, showing also different abilities to amplify specific taxonomic groups. Most of the detected species have reliable reference sequences in their respective databases (82% for COI and 72% for 18S), meaning that when a species was detected by one marker and not by the other, it was most likely due to faulty amplification, and not by lack of matching sequences in the database. Overall, results showed the impact of marker and primer applied on species detection ability and indicated that, currently, if only a single marker or primer pair is employed in marine zoobenthos metabarcoding, a fair portion of the diversity may be overlooked.

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