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The White Sea Molecular Zoology Summer School, 2009

The White Sea Molecular Zoology Summer School at N.A. Pertzov White Sea Biological Station, Moscow State University: September, 6-20, 2009

WSBS MSU invited undergraduate and graduate students studying zoology and ecology to participate in summer field school on Molecular Zoology, which took place in September, 6-20 2009. The School provided a unique opportunity to get on-hand experience of wide array of molecular genetics methods and tools used in modern zoology. The course emphasised the use of molecular tools to address ecological and environmental questions. The working language was English.

Participants spent two weeks in marvelous natural settings and friendly environment of WSBS. They were involved in organismal and ecological fieldwork, laboratory data collection, and analytical work.


  • Faunistic survey of diverse marine fauna in different biotopes: littoral fauna, benthic study with grabs and corers, plankton sampling from research vessel;
  • Washing and processing and preliminary identification of benthic samples, introduction to quantitative ecology sampling methods.
  • Overview of major groups of invertebrates inhabiting the White Sea, determination of species with taxonomic keys, primer on zoological drawings.
  • DNA extraction. Overview of applicability of different protocols.
  • PCR with standard barcoding (COI) primers , agarose electrophoresis, pre-sequencing PCR-product purification
  • PCR-RFLP analysis for species identification
  • PCR with microsatellite (SSR) primers, - acrylamide electrophoresis, EtBr staining.
  • Demonstration of other methods such as TA-cloning of PCR products, RNA extraction and RT-PCR (optional, subject to availability of time, reagents, equipment and luck supply)
  • Sequence analysis. Contig construction, quality checking of nucleotide sequence, and BLAST and BLAT algorithms.
  • Molecular Genetic databanks (GenBank etc.,) and other available resources on the Internet.
  • Discussion Barcoding approaches and approaches of sequence identification.
  • Introduction to molecular ecology and population genetics analyses including estimation of allele frequency of microsatellite loci, statistical analysis of population differentiation, coalescence approaches.
  • Introduction to phylogenetic analysis. (PAUP, Mr.Bayes, PAML, etc.)
Morning hours lectures (9:30 am – 12:00 pm) were followed by laboratory practicals (1 pm – 7 pm), except for the days dedicated to full-day or half-day excursions for specimens collection, either on board of the research vessel "Belomor" or from the shore on littoral zone. List of lecturers

White Sea Biological Station


White Sea Biological Station


White Sea Biological Station, Poselok Primorskiy,
Republic Karelia, RUSSIA

Tel/fax: +7 (815) 33-64-516

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