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A Survey of e-Biodiversity: Concepts, Practices, and Challenges

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      Abstract

      The unprecedented size of the human population, along with its associated economic activities, have an ever increasing impact on global environments. Across the world, countries are concerned about the growing resource consumption and the capacity of ecosystems to provide them. To effectively conserve biodiversity, it is essential to make indicators and knowledge openly available to decision-makers in ways that they can effectively use them. The development and deployment of mechanisms to produce these indicators depend on having access to trustworthy data from field surveys and automated sensors, biological collections, molecular data, and historic academic literature. The transformation of this raw data into synthesized information that is fit for use requires going through many refinement steps. The methodologies and techniques used to manage and analyze this data comprise an area often called biodiversity informatics (or e-Biodiversity). Biodiversity data follows a life cycle consisting of planning, collection, certification, description, preservation, discovery, integration, and analysis. Researchers, whether producers or consumers of biodiversity data, will likely perform activities related to at least one of these steps. This article explores each stage of the life cycle of biodiversity data, discussing its methodologies, tools, and challenges.

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      SPAdes: a new genome assembly algorithm and its applications to single-cell sequencing.

      The lion's share of bacteria in various environments cannot be cloned in the laboratory and thus cannot be sequenced using existing technologies. A major goal of single-cell genomics is to complement gene-centric metagenomic data with whole-genome assemblies of uncultivated organisms. Assembly of single-cell data is challenging because of highly non-uniform read coverage as well as elevated levels of sequencing errors and chimeric reads. We describe SPAdes, a new assembler for both single-cell and standard (multicell) assembly, and demonstrate that it improves on the recently released E+V-SC assembler (specialized for single-cell data) and on popular assemblers Velvet and SoapDeNovo (for multicell data). SPAdes generates single-cell assemblies, providing information about genomes of uncultivatable bacteria that vastly exceeds what may be obtained via traditional metagenomics studies. SPAdes is available online ( http://bioinf.spbau.ru/spades ). It is distributed as open source software.
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        Novel methods improve prediction of species’ distributions from occurrence data

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          Biological identifications through DNA barcodes.

          Although much biological research depends upon species diagnoses, taxonomic expertise is collapsing. We are convinced that the sole prospect for a sustainable identification capability lies in the construction of systems that employ DNA sequences as taxon 'barcodes'. We establish that the mitochondrial gene cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) can serve as the core of a global bioidentification system for animals. First, we demonstrate that COI profiles, derived from the low-density sampling of higher taxonomic categories, ordinarily assign newly analysed taxa to the appropriate phylum or order. Second, we demonstrate that species-level assignments can be obtained by creating comprehensive COI profiles. A model COI profile, based upon the analysis of a single individual from each of 200 closely allied species of lepidopterans, was 100% successful in correctly identifying subsequent specimens. When fully developed, a COI identification system will provide a reliable, cost-effective and accessible solution to the current problem of species identification. Its assembly will also generate important new insights into the diversification of life and the rules of molecular evolution.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            29 September 2018
            1810.00224

            http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

            Custom metadata
            q-bio.PE cs.DB

            Evolutionary Biology, Databases

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