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Towards DNA chip technology as a standard analytical tool for the identification of marine organisms in biodiversity and ecosystem science

Towards DNA chip technology as a standard analytical tool for the identification of marine organisms in biodiversity and ecosystem science

Objective

Sustainable development is a fundamental goal of the European Union and loss of biodiversity is emphasised as one of the main threats to it. However, biodiversity and ecosystems of European Seas are under human impact, such as pollution, eutrophication, and overfishing. Therefore it is necessary to monitor changes in biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The aim of the project is the development of DNA chips for the identification of marine organisms in European Seas as a cost effective, reliable and efficient technology in biodiversity and ecosystem science. Many marine organisms, such as eggs and larvae of fishes, plankton, and benthic invertebrates, are difficult to identify by morphological characters. The classical methods are extremely time consuming and require a high degree of taxonomie expertise. Consequently, the basic step of identifying such organisms is a major bottleneck in biodiversity and ecosystem science. Therefore, the project seeks to demonstrate that DNA chips can be a new powerful and innovative tool for the identification of marine organisms. Three DNA chips for the identification of fishes, phytoplankton, and invertebrates of European Seas will be developed. These chips will facilitate research on dispersal of ichthyoplankton, monitoring of phytoplankton, and identification of bioindicators as well as prey in gut contents analysis. To achieve this goal a combined biological and technical approach has been initiated: The biological material will be sampled by marine biologists. The next step is the sequencing of suitable molecular markers for probe design. The technical part consists mainly in constructing gene probe libraries and determining their specificity. This will be done by biotech research centres in connection with SMEs engaged in bioinformatics and DNA chip technology. Therefore the project has the potential to bring Europe's marine biotechnology to the forefront of this field.

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Coordinator

UNIVERSITAET BREMEN

Address

Bibliothekstrasse 1
Bremen

Germany

Administrative Contact

Dietmar BLOHM (Professor)

Participants (11)

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PICORAPID TECHNOLOGIE GMBH

Germany

UNIVERSIDAD DE OVIEDO

Spain

INFOCONSULT GESELLSCHAFT FUER INFORMATIONSTECHNIK MBH

Germany

PROKARIA EHF

Iceland

INSTITUTE OF MARINE BIOLOGY OF CRETE

Greece

ALFRED-WEGENER-INSTITUT FUER POLAR- UND MEERESFORSCHUNG

Germany

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE

France

EXIQON A/S

Denmark

ALMA MATER STUDIORUM-UNIVERSITA DI BOLOGNA

Italy

MUSTAFA KEMAL UNIVERSITY

Turkey

HELLENIC CENTRE FOR MARINE RESEARCH

Greece

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 505491

  • Start date

    1 January 2004

  • End date

    31 March 2007

Funded under:

FP6-SUSTDEV

  • Overall budget:

    € 2 245 159

  • EU contribution

    € 1 599 872

Coordinated by:

UNIVERSITAET BREMEN

Germany