The international sixth DNA metabarcoding School was successfully held at the Kunming Institute of Zoology, CAS on August 22nd-26th. This school was co-organized by the metabarcoding.org team and the Kunming Institute of Zoology (KIZ), CAS, with support from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yunnan, State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution, and Ministry of Science and Technology.
DNA metabarcoding is a rapidly evolving method for assessing biodiversity from environmental DNA and bulk samples. It has a wide range of applications: biodiversity monitoring, animal diet assessment, reconstruction of paleo communities, among others. DNA metabarcoding uses molecular techniques including PCR and next generation sequencing, and integrates skills in bioinformatics and biostatistics with classical ecological knowledge.
All of the instructors were leading scientists in the field of DNA metabarcoding. The instuctors were: Pierre Taberlet (LECA, CNRS, France), Eric Coissac (LECA, UGA, France), Frédéric Boyer (LECA, CNRS, France), Lucie Zinger (EDB, CNRS, France), Antony Chariton (CSIRO, Australia), Kristine Bohmann (University of Copenhagen, Denmark), Zhou Xin (China Agricultural University, China), and Douglas Yu (ECEC, KIZ, CAS, China; University of East Anglia, UK).22 of 34 official students are China-based, and others came from the US, Denmark, the UK, Finland, Canada, India, Malaysia, Germany, New Zealand, Myanmar, India, and Australia.
Two days of lectures were open to any interested attendees on August 22-23. Practicals were open to official students only, and took place from August 24-26. Practical courses included UNIX,、R BASIC, SAMPLING, TAXONAMY, PRIMER, OBITOOLS, DAME, COMMUNITY, ASMBL, and PROJECT. Every student also gave a short introduction of his/her metabarcoding project.
This was the first time the metabarcoding school has been held in Asia. The success of the school not only promotes the development of DNA metabarcoding in Asia, but will also improve KIZ’s international influence.