Field collection:

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 museums.


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.

DNA extraction:

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 Vetea, 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.

DNA sequencing:

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 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). One goal is to extend traditional, single-locus bar-coding to large-scale multilocus analyses using next-generation sequencing. This is being explored for Moorea vertebrates at UCB.