What We’re Reading- Oct 6, 2017

Blood Meal Biodiversity
Sampling biodiversity can be difficult for elusive species or at locations that are difficult to reach or navigate within like thick jungle habitat.  But researchers have a clever new way of biodiversity estimates in these places, capture invertebrates that feast on blood, then sequence the blood meal to identify the host species.  While there are challenges to this method, particularly preference for one host over others, it may be an efficient way to assess relative biodiversity and a quick peak at the species present in hard to reach habitats.  A neat result from this study was discovering a new site where brush tail rats occur!

Applications of Whole Genome Sequencing for Conservation
This paper is a wonderful overview of how whole genome re-sequencing can answer conservation questions.  Specifically the authors offer an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of different genotyping methods including RAD-Seq, pool sequencing for populations, and low coverage genome re-sequencing.  They then go on to describe which methods are best for the conservation questions of interest including: taxonomy, hybridization, population structure, signatures of selection, assessing genetic diversity and inbreeding, and delineating evolutionary significant units.

Side photo of a mosquito egg raft by Roger Eritja via ARKive.


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