Debugging diversity - a pan-continental exploration of the potential of terrestrial blood-feeding leeches as a vertebrate monitoring tool

Schnell, Ida Baerholm, Bohmann, Kristine, Schultze, Sebastian E., Richter, Stine R., Murray, Daithi C., Sinding, Mikkel-Holger S., Bass, David, Cadle, John E., Campbell, Mason J., Dolch, Rainer, Edwards, David P., Gray, Thomas N.E., Hansen, Teis, Hoa, Anh Nguyen Quang, Noer, Christina Lehmkuhl, Heise-Pavlov, Sigrid, Pedersen, Adam F., Ramamonjisoa, Juliot Carl, Siddall, Mark E., Tilker, Andrew, Traeholt, C., Wilkinson, Nicholas, Woodcock, Paul, Yu, Douglas W., Bertelsen, Mads Frost, Bunce, Michael, and Gilbert, M. Thomas P. (2018) Debugging diversity - a pan-continental exploration of the potential of terrestrial blood-feeding leeches as a vertebrate monitoring tool. Molecular Ecology Resources, 18 (6). pp. 1282-1298.

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View at Publisher Website: https://doi.org/10.1111/1755-0998.12912
 
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Abstract

The use of environmental DNA (eDNA) has become an applicable non-invasive tool with which to obtain information about biodiversity. A sub-discipline of eDNA is iDNA (invertebrate-derived DNA), where genetic material ingested by invertebrates is used to characterise the biodiversity of the species that served as hosts. While promising, these techniques are still in their infancy, as they have only been explored on limited numbers of samples from only a single or a few different locations. In this study, we investigate the suitability of iDNA extracted from more than 3,000 haematophagous terrestrial leeches as a tool for detecting a wide range of terrestrial vertebrates across five different geographical regions on three different continents. These regions cover almost the full geographical range of haematophagous terrestrial leeches, thus representing all parts of the world where this method might apply. We identify host taxa through metabarcoding coupled with high-throughput sequencing on Illumina and IonTorrent sequencing platforms to decrease economic costs and workload and thereby make the approach attractive for practitioners in conservation management. We identified hosts in four different taxonomic vertebrate classes: mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians, belonging to at least 42 different taxonomic families. We find that vertebrate blood ingested by haematophagous terrestrial leeches throughout their distribution is a viable source of DNA with which to examine a wide range of vertebrates. Thus, this study provides encouraging support for the potential of haematophagous terrestrial leeches as a tool for detecting and monitoring terrestrial vertebrate biodiversity.

Item ID: 53974
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1755-0998
Keywords: high‐throughput sequencing; iDNA; metabarcoding; terrestrial haematophagous leeches; vertebrate diversity
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Funders: Danish Council for Independent Research (DCIR), National Natural Science Foundation of China (NNSFC), Ministry of Science and Technology of China (MSTC), Kunming Institute of Zoology (KIZ)
Projects and Grants: DCIR grant DFF-5051-00140, NNSFC 31400470, NNSFC 41661144002, MSTC 2012FY110800, KIZ GREKF13-13, KIZ GREKF14-13, KIZ GREKF16-09
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2018 01:02
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060411 Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics @ 60%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 40%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences @ 20%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960501 Ecosystem Assessment and Management at Regional or Larger Scales @ 40%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales @ 40%
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