Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences

Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

A DNA Barcode database of Australia’s freshwater macroinvertebrate fauna

Melissa Carew , Susan Nichols , Jana Batovska , Rosalind St Clair , Nick Murphy , Mark Blacket , Michael Shackleton


Macroinvertebrates are widely used for monitoring freshwater ecosystems. In most monitoring programs, identifications take substantial time and expense. Methods that improve the speed, accuracy and cost-effectiveness of macroinvertebrate identification would benefit such programs. Increasingly, DNA barcodes are being employed to provide accurate species level identifications and have the potential to change how macroinvertebrates are routinely identified. Here, we discuss the need for DNA barcodes of freshwater macroinvertebrates with particular reference to Australia. We examine the use of DNA barcodes for species identification and compare DNA barcoding efforts of macroinvertebrates from Australia to those globally. We consider the role of high throughput sequencing of DNA barcodes in freshwater bioassessment and its potential use in bio-surveillance. Finally, we outline a strategy for developing a comprehensive national DNA barcode database for Australian freshwater macroinvertebrates and present the initial efforts in creating this database.

MF16304  Accepted 06 January 2017

© CSIRO 2017