Abstract Detail

Biodiversity Informatics & Herbarium Digitization

Dertien, Joseph [1], Yokomizo, Alexandra [2], Hunnicutt, Shawna [2], Hall, Alyssa [3].

DNA Barcoding the Plants of Nevada State College.

This project creates a local DNA barcoding database and teaching collection of herbarium specimens for the plants found on the campus of Nevada State College in Henderson Nevada. This database and collection serves as a baseline for student research and course-based research in botany and biodiversity.
Initial stages of the project focused on conspicuous plants used in landscaping and those found in undeveloped areas of campus. These were collected and barcoded for the “standard” plant barcoding markers rbcL and matK. Additional plants from the broader Las Vegas valley as well as weeds and other “unintentional floral diversity” are underway. Sequences for ITS and trnLF markers have been added to the growing database for future undergraduate research studies involving soil sampling and environmental DNA.
A comparison of the DNA barcoding-based identification method to a smartphone app-based method of identification (Seek by iNaturalist) has been conducted and evaluated for integration into an activity for the general biology sequence at NSC.
BLAST searches of sequences from campus specimens have helped spotlight misidentified taxa in published Genbank accessions. Misidentifications using the smartphone app were common, which were highlighted by discrepancies between the barcoding and app-based methods.
Misidentification in both barcoding and app-based methods suggests a need for strong scrutiny when integrating such activities into CUREs or other course-based experiences with the objective of uploading results to Genbank. However, this combination of methods makes an effective teaching tool, as even students with no prior botanical knowledge could spot discrepancies.
This project continues to grow in pace with the growth of campus and is currently being integrated into classroom and lab activities and being used to support campus initiatives to expand a native plant garden and integration of native species throughout campus. This project has also served as a starting point for undergraduate research projects involving screening for fungal DNA in environmental samples and nanopore sequencing technology.

1 - Nevada State College, Physical And Life Sciences, 1300 Nevada State Dr, Henderson, NV, 89002, United States
2 - Nevada State College, Physical and Life Sciences, 1300 Nevada State Dr, Henderson, NV, 89002, USA
3 - Nevada State College, 1300 Nevada State Dr, Henderson, NV, 89002, USA

DNA barcoding

Presentation Type: Poster
Number: PBI011
Abstract ID:985
Candidate for Awards:None

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