Massimiliano Virgilio and Jessica Ody
This project aims at optimising wet- and dry-lab pipelines for the identification of pollen recovered from African flower flies and bees. In this respect, our unit is processing samples collected in the framework of ongoing research projects in Benin and Tanzania as well as historical samples from the museum collections of RMCA/RBINS. The pollen recovered from insects sampled in a range of natural and agricultural environments is subjected to DNA extraction, high throughput sequencing and DNA metabarcoding identification using dedicated plant reference libraries. The protocols developed / optimised by this project will facilitate the characterisation of pollinator networks of importance in small-scale crop production in Africa.
Nele Mullens (RMCA)
Lab work progress: