MiniGrant List: 2008-2009


Title: Utilizing DNA barcodes to assess species diversity for Amphipoda and Polychaeta in Arctic and sub-Arctic waters

Alex Smith
Principal Investigator
Alex Smith

Christy Carr
Principal Investigator
Christina Carr,

Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, University of Guelph, Canada

Project goals
To generate CO1 DNA barcodes for ~700 specimens of marine invertebrates (Amphipoda and Polychaeta) collected from Igloolik and Resolute. Barcoding these specimens will permit us to further the understand current and future species distributions and limits at sub-Arctic and Arctic locations.

ArcOD funding contributed to the creation of a large, spatially referenced dataset of COI barcode data, including more than 2000 polychaete specimens (over 150 species) and more than 500 amphipod specimens (over 60 species) from a broad geographical distribution around the Arctic. The polychaete data are already publicly available in BOLD under the “Polychaetes of North America (PONA)” project. This study estimated (for polychaetes) that one quarter of morphological species was composed of at least two distinct genetic lineages. This suggests that morphological characters alone may underestimate polychaete diversity, although it will require additional study to determine whether the higher molecular diversity represents within-species morphological variation or truly cryptic species. This study resulted in a master thesis and related publications are in progress.

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