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Arthropods Gene bank Establishment

Arthropods biodiversity is changing continuously due to environmental changes and human activities. 75% of the world's animal species are arthropods (Gerdesa, Uhla & Alpersa, 2009) and about 970,000 known species recorded from the insect group particularly (Cranshaw & Redak, 2013). Arthropod have a key contribution to biology diversity. They are the most diverse group of the animal kingdom species and they are subdivided into four major groups: insects, myriapods, arachnids, and crustaceans. They are characterized with their segmented coelom, exoskeleton, and jointed appendages. It is widely accepted that arthropods play a major role in maintaining ecosystems as pollinators of most flowering plants, as natural enemies of pests, recyclers of dead animal and plant matters, food for other animals and mixing and fertilizing the soil. Thus, it is essential to maintain arthropods biodiversity. This could be achieved through establishing an arthropod gene bank.


ObjectiveThe main objective of this project is to preserve the genetic diversity of a collection of the more important and conspicuous arthropods obtained from the College of Agricultural & Marine Sciences, SQU and National Field Research Center for Environment Conservation (NFRCEC) within OAPGRC gene bank at University of Nizwa.
Specific aims
  • 1. To produce a catalogued and representative collection of properly preserved arthropod specimens, preserved using different preservation techniques (pinning, liquid preservation, microscope slide mounting, DNA extraction)
  • 2. To identify the taxonomically undetermined species of arthropods which form part of above collection, using both morphological and molecular methods
  • 3. To sequence both identified and unidentified specimens of arthropod to allow  confirmation of morphological identifications, and to determine previously unidentified specimens
  • 4. To establish a database (location, date, host, DNA, etc.) based on the collected data
  • 5. To publish scientific paper(s) on the outcomes

Step 1: Sample collection

Step 2: Identifying unidentified species at least to genus using morphology

Step 3: Molecular analysis  

Project managementOman Animal & Pl​​ant Genetic Resources Center (OAPGRC), Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) and National Field Research Center for Environment Conservation (NFRCEC) will carry out the project
Expected outcomesIdentification and preservation of the complete set of collected samples
  • Omani Arthropods gene bank and database establishment
  • Scientific publication(s)
Project team

Dr. Ali Al Wahaibi (SQU)

Mr. Ali Al Raeesi (SQU)

Students (SQU)

Mrs. Asila Al Naabi (OAPGRC)

Ms. Zahra Al Shabibi (OAPGRC)