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Phytool, a ShinyApp to homogenise taxonomy of freshwater microalgae from DNA barcodes and microscopic observations

Abstract : Methods for biomonitoring of freshwater phytoplankton are evolving rapidly with eDNA-based methods, offering great complementarity with microscopy. Metabarcoding approaches have been more commonly used over the last years, with a continuous increase in the amount of data generated. Depending on the researchers and the way they assigned barcodes to species (bioinformatic pipelines and molecular reference databases), the taxonomic assignment obtained for HTS DNA reads might vary. This is also true for traditional taxonomic studies by microscopy with regular adjustments of the classification and taxonomy. For those reasons (leading to non-homogeneous taxonomies), gap-analyses and comparisons between studies become even more challenging and the curation processes to find potential consensus names are time-consuming. Here, we present a web-based application (Phytool), developed with ShinyApp (Rstudio), that aims to make the harmonisation of taxonomy easier and in a more efficient way, using a complete and up-to-date taxonomy reference database for freshwater microalgae. Phytool allows users to homogenise and update freshwater phytoplankton taxonomical names from sequence files and data tables directly uploaded in the application. It also gathers barcodes from curated references in a user-friendly way in which it is possible to search for specific organisms. All the data provided are downloadable with the possibility to apply filters in order to select only the required taxa and fields (e.g. specific taxonomic ranks). The main goal is to make accessible to a broad range of users the connection between microscopy and molecular biology and taxonomy through different ready-to-use functions. This study estimates that only 25% of species of freshwater phytoplankton in Phytobs are associated with a barcode. We plead for an increased effort to enrich reference databases by coupling taxonomy and molecular methods. Phytool should make this crucial work more efficient. The application is available at https://caninuzzo.shinyapps.io/phytool_v1/
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03484541
Contributor : Christophe Laplace-Treyture Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, December 20, 2021 - 8:36:41 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, March 2, 2022 - 12:12:01 PM

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Alexis Canino, Agnes Bouchez, Christophe Laplace-Treyture, Isabelle Domaizon, Frédéric Rimet. Phytool, a ShinyApp to homogenise taxonomy of freshwater microalgae from DNA barcodes and microscopic observations. Metabarcoding and Metagenomics, Pensoft Publishers 2021, 5, pp.199-205. ⟨10.3897/mbmg.5.74096⟩. ⟨hal-03484541⟩

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