Summer DNA barcoding training camp – sampling field specimens
(June 10-12, 2021)
The 3-days summer camp brought together participants of the BulCode project from the Institute of Plant Physiology and Genetics (IPPG) and the Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research (IBER). The training was provided by the teaching staff from IBER with pronounced expertise in plant biodiversity, taxonomy and ecology. Participants were introduced with the basic procedures for the collection of plant material from natural habitats following standards ensuring the obtaining of further high quality molecular and taxonomic data. The following topics were addressed:
Theoretical overview of activities preceding the organization of collection trips
- Need of comprehensive overview of available information from literature and herbarium collections to prepare a list of target species and their appropriate areas of collection.
2. Protocols for collection of plant specimens
- Ecology guidelines for sampling endangered, rare or preserved species
- How to obtain and store tissue samples in field conditions ensuring their preservation for subsequent DNA analyses (e.g use of silica gel, specimen collection envelopes etc),
- How to prepare herbarium vouchers
3. Documentation of vouchers as a prerequisite for the upload of DNA barcodes into databases
- photodocumentation of specimens
- labeling of specimens
In the course of the training botanical camp, several collection areas in Eastern Rhodope Mountains (vicinity of towns Haskovo and Kardzhali) were visited and vouchers from endemic plant species from families Centaurea and Verbascum were collected which will be used for DNA barcoding studies.