– Conferences on cyanoprokariotes and eukaryotic algae (CyEA): their importance, ecology, and phylogenetic diversity, their role in ecosystems with special emphasis on terrestrial habitats (for example, phylosphere, flora, soils), and some aspects of the aquatic system.
– Discussions (colloquia) on critical aspects such as sampling for ecological studies, sample storage, options in molecular phylogenetic analysis, as well as bioinformatic analysis of metabarcoding data (NGS).
– Practical classes for the analysis of the composition of the terrestrial/freshwater and cyanobacterial communities and their changes along environmental gradients.
– Learn the basic management of DNA sequences using databases (general and specific to CyEA) and several bioinformatics tools. The sample data for the classes will be established recently from cultures and environmental material collected in the temperate and pristine tropical forest in southern Chile.
• Microscopy of sample material collected in the field and from isolated cultures.
Fieldwork consists of a field day in Puyehue National Park, characterization of flora, vegetation, soil and water bodies in model plots, and collection of CyEA samples in the different strata of the forest for identification and later cultivation in the laboratory.
• Identification of a set of CyEA sequences (including metabarcoding data (NGS)) versus reference sequence databases (a set of sequence data is provided).
• Align the new set of sequences with the sequence reference dataset, check the alignment, build, test, and improve phylogenetic trees.
• Assign taxonomy, for example, genera and species identities to the CyEA sequences, including checking the reliability of the taxonomic assignments of the database entries.
• Work with various bioinformatics tools to specifically analyze metabarcoding data (NGS).
Practical laboratory and field activities, in addition to reading and discussion. Includes oral presentations as proposed by each instructor. A research proposal within the framework of the topics addressed in the Course, with a written presentation at the end of the course in a pre-established format.
Lab coat. Appropiate fieldwork clothes (shoes, jacket) for one-day fieldwork on Puyehue National Park. For bioinformatic/statistical analysis, a propper laptop is required (min. icore i5, preferably icore i7), with good RAM memory (+8 GB RAM), preferably with a Linux operating system. Good use of the R software is recomended.
– The final grade of the course will be calculated according to the average of the evaluations of the seminar activities or written reports, made during the Course with each one of the instructors. For the graade, aspects of theoretical-conceptual management are considered, as well as the ability to solve and confront scientific problema. The seminars or reports consider presentation, synthesis, analytical capacity, and discussion (30%).
– Presentation of a project within the framework of the topics of the Course in DID-UACh Format (70%).