News about DNA barcoding databases developed at MobiLab

In the framework of LifeWatch Italy activties, the Bio-Molecular Laboratory (MobiLab) is in charge to build curated collections suitable to conduct molecular biodiversity studies of a wide range of organisms along the tree of life. Considering the state of the art, the taxonomic composition of complex biological and ecological matrices can be optimally analyzed using the DNA meta-barcoding approach exploiting high throughput technologies for massive DNA sequencing. In order to increase the precision and the accuracy of taxonomical classification in such experiments, curated reference DNA sequences collections are needed. According to the taxonomic class under investigation, a specific molecular marker is used to perform the analyses.

In this context, the MobiLab is focusing on several DNA reference sequences collections targeting different taxonomic groups. In particular, the MobiLab team, in a work jointly supported by ELIXIR project, has upgraded ITSoneDB, which is a curated collection of ribosomal DNA intergenic transcribed spacer 1 (rDNA ITS1), now embracing all Eukaryotes and enclosing a marine specific section. In addition, the collection of mitochondrial Cytochrome Oxidase sub-unit I (COXI) sequences, known as consolidated DNA barcode in animals, will be shortly available. Finally, a curated database is being developed targeting three chloroplast molecular markers, namely rbcL, matK and trnH-psbA known as suitable DNA barcodes in plants.

All the above-mentioned collections are designed and implemented by means of customized bioinformatics workflow developed to ensure their high quality, comprehensiveness and agreement with the FAIR data principles.