The Chinese Academy of Sciences, through its subsidiary organizations Kunming Institute of Zoology and Kunming Institute of Botany, and Hebei University of Science and Technology, held a joint technical training course in Lijiang between July 24-26 to train researchers and conservationists in DNA barcoding technique for nature reserves.
Training was divided into three stages, the first of which discussed technological and management problems encountered during the implementation of the project, such as sampling process material preservation, DNA extraction scheme comparisons, the efficiency of different animal taxa primer amplifications, independent sequencing and other technical problems, and various issues of costs and scheduling.
The second phase provided formative training in database usage and management, with specific sessions dedicated to "BOLD Mirror", "high-throughput DNA Barcode experimental techniques," and demonstrations of glass membrane DNA extraction. Participants were fully engaged in the technical process of sequencing DNA barcodes, including information technology processes, automation and standardization.
The third stage saw participants travel to the Lijiang Black Dragon Pool Park and Yulong Snow Mountain Alpine Botanical Garden for field sampling technology demonstrations, and preliminary techniques in Rhododendron species identification and sampling. Field work also provided hands-on learning for students in classification and species identification techniques.
All three aspects of the training courses provided an opportunity for lab staff to collaborate and share best practices. One promising outcome of the training sessions was the creation of a Task Force to support the construction of a portal and manage submitted data, which will play a vital role in disseminating news and information as well as in anchoring life science research in southwestern China. Larger collaborative DNA barcoding large projects and technical exchanges are also in the works as an outcome of successful collaboration between institutions, efforts that will promote the further development. The training course was organized by the Kunming Institute of Zoology.
(By Andrew Willden)