The role of molecules, morphology and methodology in determining patterns of soil mite diversity

Citation

Schwarzfeld et al. 2022. The role of molecules, morphology and methodology in determining patterns of soil mite
diversity. In: What lies beneath? The art and science of soil arthropods Program Symposium. Joint
meeting of the Entomological Society of Canada and Entomological Society of America, Nov. 13-
16, Vancouver, BC.

Résumé en langage clair

This was an invited talk as part of the program symposium "What lies beneath: the art and science of soil arthropods". This talk focused on comparing sequencing DNA directly from soil, vs from arthropods that were extracted from the soil, to determine whether the methods were comparable and to assess possible sources of bias.

Résumé

Mites are among the most diverse and abundant groups of organisms in soil ecosystems; however, this same abundance and diversity, in addition to their small size, limits their inclusion in soil biodiversity surveys. On the rare occasions where they are included in soil biodiversity studies, usually only selected taxa or high level identifications are possible, thus losing much of the biological signal. Metabarcoding is increasingly being proposed as a method for studying soil biodiversity more comprehensively; however, with respect to soil mites, many questions about best practices remain. In this talk, I will discuss soil mite metabarcoding in the context of natural and agricultural ecosystems, including a comparison of bulk soil and bulk specimen sequencing, questions of primer choice and taxonomic bias, DNA extraction methods, and the use of voucher specimens for data validation.