MBP field operations are based out of the Gump station (UCB) and CRIOBE (Centre de
Recherches Insulaires et Observatoire de l’Environnement; CNRS-EPHE) labs in Moorea. The
two research stations provide all the necessary logistical support for the field teams.
Samples are processed in the new morphology (digital imaging) at the Gump Station. The
Biocode technicians help field teams with digital imaging and database entry. After
preliminary identifications in Moorea, the voucher specimens are sent to appropriate
Collections are databased using Biocode’s Field Information Management System (FIMS),
capturing all critical metadata, photo-documentation, and tissue sub-samples. The FIMS is
designed to capture specimen and tissue data from the point at which it is collected in the
field to the tissue. FIMS is updated on site in Moorea after specimens are collected.
An automated tissue extractor at Gump enables the MBP to process sub-samples in situ,
enabling the verification that protocols are effective through periodic spot checks. Field
teams have hand-off tissue samples to Aimee, the Biocode technician, for DNA extraction.
Recalcitrant samples and taxonomic groups with specific challenges require extraction
optimization off-site in one of the partner mainland laboratories, and knowledge gained is
transferred back to Moorea. DNA extracted in Moorea is split into a working aliquot sent to
one (or more) of the partner laboratories (see below). The remainder of the DNA sample is
archived in the Gump Station, in French Polynesia.
The Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) will be developed in 2009 and will
track data from the tissue through sequencing. Berkeley, Smithsonian (LAB) and Guelph are
the three leading labs in CBOL. Christopher Meyer coordinates large scale sequencing at LAB
in Washington DC. Additional sequencing is conducted at Guelph and the fungi are
sequenced at UC Berkeley. This strategy takes fullest advantage of established work-flow
protocols, success rates in outputs, and capitalizes on laboratory capacities. Fine-scale
tuning and laboratory optimization for difficult templates are conducted in smaller labs
identified by the various TaxTeam leaders (terrestrial animals, plants/algae - UCB, marine
animals - SI).