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Genetic Barcoding of Great Lake invertebrates

David Lodge, Lars Rudstam, Jim Watkins, Joe Connolly, Chris Marshall, Beth Whitmore, Lindsay Schaeffer, Nelson Hairston, Jr., Kristy Deiner, Paul Simonin, Jose Andres (Cornell), Alexander Karatayev, Lyubov Burlakova, Susan Daniel (SUNY Buffalo State College), Michael Pfrender (Notre Dame University), Paul Hebert (University of Guelph) (three projects funded by US EPA Region 5 Great Lakes National Program Office, Chicago, IL)

Genetic barcoding technology has become an important tool in the early detection of invasive species, monitoring diversity, and dietary analysis. Barcodes are short (600 bp) sequences, most commonly located as mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase gene (COI), effective in separating different species. However, the current extent of the barcode library for invertebrates in the Great Lakes is sparse, severely limiting the usefulness of this technology. Effective barcodes depend on accurate identifications, hence the need for a close coordination between experts in taxonomy and genetics. The goal of this project is to obtain barcodes for all Great Lakes invertebrate species and add those to the Barcode of Life Directory (BOLD), housed at the University of Guelph. This project is divided up into three individual grants focusing on specific taxa, led by Buffalo State (benthic molluscs and oligochaete worms), Notre Dame (zooplankton and rotifers), and Cornell (benthic arthropods). CBFS lead the taxonomic sorting of copepods, cladocerans, and rotifers within the Notre Dame project. In 2020, we continued providing BOLD with specimens for barcoding and started the analysis of patterns. Due to covid-related closures of several genetics laboratories, this project was extended to 2021.  All barcodes and records with images are in the BOLD database and publicly available.  The comprehensive species list for Great Lakes invertebrates was also reviewed and updated with our new information.