This work-package is leaded by Frederica Costantini (UNIBO, junior researcher)
The quality of metabarcoding data is still limited by the quality and extent of properly identified taxa in the available universal databases (BoldSystem, Genbank). At the same time identification of species using traditional methods rely on considerable microscopy time and taxonomic expertise, which sometimes focus on a few select taxonomic groups. The objective is to combine molecular species identification (through barcoding) with morphological identification to improve the universal barcoding database (also by the way creating a local database) so that it properly represents the Mediterranean macrobenthos. Thanks to the presence in each consortium partner of skilled marine taxonomists specialized in the Mediterranean macrobenthos, species with no available molecular information on the online database will be sequenced using barcoding molecular marker.
For all the identified species a research on online barcoding database will be carried out to create a local barcoding database. For the species that have no barcode sequences on the online database DNA-based species identification will be carried out through Sanger sequencing of a region of the COI gene (common barcode molecular marker). Databases for taxonomic assignment will be created (list of barcode DNA sequences and corresponding species names).