Navigation Links
Researchers register new species using DNA-based description

The previously unknown species of ribbon worm discovered in Kosterhavet National Park in 2007 has now been scientifically named using a new method. Pseudomicrura afzelii, a form of nemertean or ribbon worm, has been described and registered by researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, using DNA technology.

"We've shown that it's possible to move away from the traditional, highly labour-intensive way of describing a new species. Developments in molecular biology have made it possible to determine the genetic code for selected parts of DNA both quickly and cheaply." So says Malin Strand who, together with Per Sundberg, had the non-traditional description of the new nemertean published in a scientific journal. They have also deposited a type specimen of the species at the Gothenburg Museum of Natural History together with a test tube containing the species' unique DNA. Thus the species has been given its valid formal name and can be counted as a Swedish species and the two researchers have opened the door to new methods for determining species.

There are currently around 1.7 million known species of plant and animal, though the actual number is many times higher. To date, every new species has been described and named using the system introduced by Linnaeus in the 18th century, in other words on the basis of similarities of appearance. A species name is valid only once a detailed description of the species has been published and a type specimen has been deposited with a museum. This guarantees the link between the name and the species, and prevents the same name from being used for different species. An international committee keeps track of all valid species names.

"The description of the species is an extremely important part of the naming process. A species without a name just doesn't 'exist'. Without valid names for species, our perception of biological diversity is skewed."

However, this is a time-consuming process that in many cases involves expensive special techniques and specialist expertise. As a result, many new species are not described, but instead remain unprocessed.

Ribbon worms are an example of creatures that are traditionally described using anatomical characteristics, in other words how their internal organs such as intestines, blood vessels and brain are organised and what they look like. The recently published species description means that the two Gothenburg researchers are paving the way for more new species to be registered by linking a species-specific DNA code to a name.


Contact: Malin Strand
University of Gothenburg

Related biology news :

1. Nearly 10 million euros ($13.6 million) in ERC grants for 6 Technische Universitaet Muenchen researchers
2. Climate change threatens many tree species, say Hebrew U. researchers
3. Researchers find smoking gun of worlds biggest extinction
4. 2 bacterial enzymes confer resistanceto common herbicide, say MU researchers
5. Go figure: Math model may help researchers with stem cell, cancer therapies
6. Researchers discover giant crayfish species right under their noses
7. Researchers unlock how progesterone increases breast cancer risk
8. In scientific first, researchers visualize naturally occurring mRNA
9. Researchers report on the early development of anti-HIV neutralizing antibodies
10. Researchers learn why PSA levels reflect prostate cancer progression
11. Adrenaline receptor frozen in action by VIB researchers
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Researchers register new species using DNA-based description
(Date:3/29/2017)... the health IT company that operates the largest health ... today announced a Series B investment from BlueCross BlueShield ... investment and acquisition accelerates higi,s strategy to create the ... activities through the collection and workflow integration of ambient ... secures data today on behalf of over 36 million ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. , March 27, 2017 ... by Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) ... Analytics Outpatient EMR Adoption Model sm . In ... top 12% of U.S. hospitals using an electronic ... recognized CHS for its high level of EMR ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , Mar 24, 2017 Research and Markets ... System Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" ... ... grow at a CAGR of around 15.1% over the next decade ... industry report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... 09, 2017 , ... At its national board meeting in North Carolina, ... University’s Departments of Physics and Astronomy, has been selected for membership in ARCS ... for the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental physics for the discovery of the accelerating ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 06, ... ... years’ experience providing advanced instruments and applications consulting for microscopy and surface ... expertise in application consulting, Nanoscience Analytical offers a broad range of contract ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... entrepreneurship within the healthcare and technology sector at their fourth annual Conference where ... featuring 30 inspiring speakers and the ELEVATE pitch competition showcasing early stage digital ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... ... , ... Understanding the microbiome, the millions of bacteria that live in our ... My Future, the newest exhibit on display at the University City Science Center’s Esther ... the lens of the gut microbiome. , Gut Love opens October 12, 2017, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: