Introduction to CnidToL

Dr. Paulyn Cartwright (University of Kansas, Lawrence, USA)

A.G. Collins, D.G. Fautin, N.W. Blackstone, S.L. Romano, C.S. McFadden, M. Daly, J.R. Finnerty, D.M. Bridge, D.E. Martinez

To reconstruct a robust phylogeny for Phylum Cnidaria using nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequence and nematocyst distribution, type, and size data.

(1) DNA sequence from 1000 species across the phylum. mtDNA - 16S, CO1; nDNA - 18S, 28S; plus at least 6 new loci.
(2) DNA sequence from 800 species in eight focal groups. e.g. Scyphozoa.
(3) Characterize types, distribution, morphology of nematocysts.
(4) Cnidarian Tree of Life database. Matrices of DNA sequence and morphological data, phylogenetic trees, and taxonomic and nomenclatural data.

Specimen-based collections in local and international repositories
Tissue-based collection at University of Kansas, Lawrence
Sequence collections in public access database, GenBank

Online resources for Scyphozoa - methods, photographs, tools, lessons


Collaboration I:

Goals: (1) support new international projects, (2) enable the diverse taxonomic sampling essential to success of the project, and (3) develop the robust global community essential for continuing rapid progress during and after the project.

How can you contribute to CnidToL, and what can CnidToL contribute to you? Answering this question is the main goal of this workshop. The key issue is to balance the benefit for all involved. It is important to recognize that this is not a 'zero-sum' endeavour - everybody can benefit from CnidToL.

Collaboration II: You to CnidToL

Specimen collection & whole specimen preservation, shipping
Tissue collection & preservation for DNA, shipping
Photographic documentation
The Scyphozoan
(CnidToL provides: Sample kit - tubes, preservative, instructions, bags, etc)
(CnidToL provides: Reimbursement)

Collaboration III: CnidToL to You

Sequence data
Access to additional (global) specimens
Initial framework for diverse studies (e.g. phylogeography, population genetics, evolution)
Comparative data
The Scyphozoan
International collaboration - in what form? Discuss options with CnidToL collaborators.
Training? More international workshops like this, or workshops with CnidToL collaborators.

Collaboration IV: The future

The principal goal of CnidToL is to produce a robust family-level phylogeny for Cnidaria. As such, it will provide a much-needed large-scale framework for studying cnidarians. Many systematic studies below the family level will remain to be done, as will many of the ecological and evolutionary studies required for a full understanding of the modern diversity of jellyfishes and other cnidarians. These integrative studies, such as comparison of the evolution of genes involved in rhopalium or eye development with the patterns of morphological variation among the rhopalia and eyes of different species, are just a few of the studies that will be enabled by the traditional taxonomic, tissue, and sequence collections made by CnidToL.