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SFS Annual Meeting

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PREDATOR - PREY INTERACTIONS OF WATER MITES FROM THE LAURENTIAN GREAT LAKES ARE REVEALED BY NEXT GENERATION SEQUENCING, CLASSIC TAXONOMY, AND DNA BARCODING

Water mites are aquatic arachnids and are found in most bodies of water except Antarctica. Considered carnivorous, water mites feed by liquefying their prey and then ingesting the digested material into their mid gut. Despite their abundance and obvious important ecological roles, hypotheses concerning diet have been based mainly on laboratory feeding experiments and not on the gut contents of water mites freshly collected from nature. In this study, we collected water mites from the field and immediately preserved them in ethanol. Extracted DNA was then analyzed using next generation sequencing of cytochrome oxidase I (COI) DNA barcodes to study the molecular composition of the gut contents. Here we describe water mite prey biodiversity (chironomids; also other organisms, especially oligochaetes, reported in another abstract). Identification of chironomids was further enhanced in the present study with new taxonomic studies and COI barcodes (Sanger sequencing) of adult chironomids. This work represents the first use, to our knowledge, of next generation sequencing to understand water mite diet composition.

Adrian Vasquez (Primary Presenter/Author), Wayne State University, avasquez@wayne.edu;


Patrick Hudson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), USGS, phudson@usgs.gov ;


Katherine Gurdziel (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Wayne State University, gurdziel@wayne.edu;


Divya Yerramsetty (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Wayne State University, yerrams1@msu.edu ;


Jeffrey Ram (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Wayne State University, jeffram@wayne.edu;