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Research article2019Peer reviewedOpen access

Diat.barcode, an open-access curated barcode library for diatoms

Rimet, Frédéric; Vasselon, Valentin; Gusev, Evgenuy; Kahlert, Maria; Kelly, Martyn G.; Kulikovskiy, Maxim; Maltsev, Yevhen; Mann, David G.; Pfannkuchen, Martin; Trobajo, Rosa; Zimmermann, Jonas; Bouchez, Agnes


Diatoms (Bacillariophyta) are ubiquitous microalgae which produce a siliceous exoskeleton and which make a major contribution to the productivity of oceans and freshwaters. They display a huge diversity, which makes them excellent ecological indicators of aquatic ecosystems. Usually, diatoms are identified using characteristics of their exoskeleton morphology. DNA-barcoding is an alternative to this and the use of High-Throughput-Sequencing enables the rapid analysis of many environmental samples at a lower cost than analyses under microscope. However, to identify environmental sequences correctly, an expertly curated reference library is needed. Several curated libraries for protists exists; none, however are dedicated to diatoms. Diat.barcode is an open-access library dedicated to diatoms which has been maintained since 2012. Data come from two sources (1) the NCBI nucleotide database and (2) unpublished sequencing data of culture collections. Since 2017, several experts have collaborated to curate this library for rbcL, a chloroplast marker suitable for species-level identification of diatoms. For the latest version of the database (version 7), 605 of the 3482 taxonomical names originally assigned by the authors of the rbcL sequences were modified after curation. The database is accessible at


diatoms; microalgae; molecular phylogeny; DNA-barcoding; species identification

Published in

Scientific Reports
2019, Volume: 9, article number: 15116

    Associated SLU-program

    Lakes and watercourses

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Environmental Sciences
    Biological Systematics

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)