Web-based diatom resources – the future of high-visibility publishing
Diatomists are increasingly developing or contributing to web-based resources to present accessible, adaptable, and dynamic content ranging from diatom taxonomy and distribution, ecological databases, gene sequences, and nomenclature. Web resources are often heavily accessed by the user community but are subject to shortcomings of secure long-term funding, limited update capability, changing technology, and poor content review. Contributors and developers are further limited by traditional impact and productivity metrics that value peer-reviewed publication over high impact web resources. This workshop will briefly introduce several current diatom web resources to start the discussion on how to best develop, leverage, and use web-based resources for research, publication, quality assurance, and data archiving. Importantly we will solicit community feedback and input for improving content management, functionality, and impact of web resources.
Curation of Molecular Reference Libraries
Clone cultures, identifications, vouchers, DNAs, and sequences are the prerequisites for molecular reference libraries. As more and more molecular data become available through DNA Barcoding, it becomes obvious that DNA sequence databases like GenBank contain many named and unnamed sequences which are not linked to vouchered specimens, which is problematic for interpreting their taxonomy. However, up to now no sufficient guidelines exist on how to link molecular data to morphological taxonomy. This session will explore some ideas.
DIATERM – curated morphological terminology
The guidelines on diatom terminology published during the 1970s continue to be cited but are now in dire need of revision. Thus, a working group (called DIATERM) was set up in St. Paul (21st IDS) with subsequent meetings held in Ghent (22nd IDS), Nanjing (23rd IDS) and Quebec (24th IDS). Small teams of diatomists were given the task of reviewing and revising the terms associated with particular structures (e.g., the raphe, portulae, striae, ribs, pore types, etc.), with a view to producing an authoritative, highly illustrated, account of morphological terminology for diatoms (excluding terminology around sexual reproductive stages, see Kaczmarska, I., Poulíčková, A., Sato, S., Edlund, M.B., Idei, M., Watanabe, T. & Mann, D.G. 2013. Proposals for a terminology for diatom sexual reproduction, auxospores and resting stages Diatom Research 28: 263–294). These teams have been asked to prepare posters for the 25th IDS, so that they can receive feedback on the definition and usage of each term. The importance of consistent terminology cannot be over-stressed. The correct application of terminology underpins our understanding of structures, potential homologies and taxonomic decision-making based on morphology. Inconsistent usage or the creation of duplicate terms for the same structure, leads to confusion and the need to repeat observational studies. Therefore, we would like to invite everyone to visit our posters and to join our discussion on what still needs to be done.
Diatom Shape Analyses
Morphometric tools and analyses are prominent in the general scientific literature and becoming more applied in diatom studies. The utility of these tools is evident, especially in diatom taxonomy where numerical analyses can help to distinguish taxa using a proven scientific methodology. However, the availability and ease of use of these tools has hindered general use. Geometric shape analysis tools offer precise and accurate descriptions, enable rigorous statistical analysis and allow visualization interpretation and communication of the results. The possibility to link biological shapes, architectures and dynamic changes in phenotype expression with underlying environmental, genetic, molecular drivers can produce interesting results for complex systems (Chitwood & Topp, 2015 in Curr. Opin. Plant Biol.). Furthermore, morphometric techniques can greatly assist the limited number of well-trained botanists in linking phylogenic and molecular studies with classical species identification (Tomaszewski & Górzkowska, 2016 in PlosOne). This workshop will explore and present the available tools for evaluating shape (e.g. curvature, e-Fourier shape and geometric morphometrics, etc.). In addition R-scripts for general self-learning and standard statistical analysis will be presented. The workshop will have a traditional presentation as well as open discussion.