Sequencing museum insect specimens

To study species-rich taxa like the longhorn beetle genus Rhytiphora, it is essential to utilise the great diversity of samples that has been accumulated and taxonomically sorted in collections over many decades. The DNA of these older samples is typically poorly preserved, but can still be sequenced with a Whole Genome Shotgun (WGS) approach, which is rather costly and commonly targets only genes with high copy numbers, e.g. ribosomal and mitochondrial genes.

Molecular Inversion Probes (MIPs) provide an interesting alternative approach that can target any part of the genome (i.e. nuclear single copy genes suitable for phylogenetics). It is cost-effective for organisms with large genomes (like Rhytiphora) and should be highly suitable for fragmented, low quantity DNA; however, it has not been used for collection genomics so far.

We aim to use Rhytiphora as a test case to trial MIPs with old collection specimens and compare this approach against WGS sequencing of the same samples.


pipette photo