OREINA MOLECULAR GENETIC ANALYSIS OF THE LEAF BEETLE GENUS OREINA
We would like to use this research project to clarify the systematic position of certain taxa in the genus Oreina. We do this by means of modern molecular genetic analysis, as well as traditional morphological study. The use of molecular genetics allows us to incorporate older items from the main collection in the study.
Species of the leaf beetle genus Oreina are mainly found in the mountain regions of Central Europe, in habitats at between 800 and 3,000 metres' altitude. The centre of this area is the Alps, with Switzerland a true hot-spot!
Based on morphological studies of larvae and adult beetles, the position of certain species within the genus itself and the belonging of a subgenus (Protorina) to the genus Oreina are questionable. Through molecular genetics using a Next generation sequencing method (NGS), we will attempt to redress the lack of clarity as to the systematic position of the Oreina taxa. Therefor we will also use the results of morphological studies. The NGS method furthermore permits analysis of individuals in the museum collection with partly degraded DNA.