Research project: A species flock of Eophreatoicus from Kakadu National Park
- Start date:
- Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS)
Dr Chris Humphrey at the Environmental Research Institute for the Supervising Scientist (ERISS) & Dr Wilson are describing approximately 25 new species of isopods. These isopods are environmentally significant because they occur in an area that is impacted by uranium mining. Mining has been planned for the Jabiluka area of Kakadu, which is home to the highest number of distinct lineages. An evaluation of genetic differentiation was conducted, in collaboration with Don Colgan, Karen Gray and Rebecca Johnson (DNA Lab, Australian Museum), using several mtDNA markers (16S, COx I).
Approximately 30 lineages have been found, most of which match previously identified morphotypes. One instance of identical sequences but distinct morphologies was found, which has substantial implications for using these sequences as identifying markers ("bar codes"). Results show that "DNA barcodes" are not effective for identifying major lineages, and can be misleading about species identification.
Dr George D. F. (Buz) Wilson , Principal Research Scientist