Pollen analysis with AIMethods
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Experts for DNA barcoding and metabarcoding
As leading DNA barcoding experts, we are able to not only idenify all
the pests and common species, but also digitally represent and
evaluate biodiversity in its entirety
Thus, we contribute significantly to the development of a comprehensive
online genetic database of all species. DNA barcode reference databases are
growing continuously and are curated by experts, museums and state
collections around the world.
Because: we can only protect what we know!
✓Detection of invasive species
✓Determination of pest species
✓Identification of species compositions
✓Analysis of processed food
In addition to the well-known honeybees, numerous other groups of insects are
responsible for pollinating various plant species.
By means of our established DNA metabarcoding workflow, we can quickly and reliably identify
species compositions regardless of how numerous or complex the community is. Barcodes enable
us to reliably and holistically determine the diversity of insects and its spatiotemporal relationship
with flower strips, agricultural or urban areas. More to the point, they allow us to identify and
protect the pollinators taking on the ecosystem services indispensable for the maintenance of
healthy and balanced ecosystems.
By pollinating crops in agriculture, insects provide an
economically extremely important ecosystem service. In the case
of some plant species, they increase the yield, and in other cases,
they are irreplaceable if any yield is expected at all.
By means of our specialized pollen metabarcoding analysis, we can
ascertain whether the pollinators are offered a sufficiently balanced
variety of plants in a particular agricultural area. In this way, we can help
ensure the economic efficiency as well as the ecological sustainability
of modern agriculture.
Flower strips are used as agri-environmental measures to enrich the local
biodiversity and to form protective islands for different animal groups in
industrial agriculture. However, positive effects on biodiversity require the
use of native floral elements!
A parallel comparison of established genetic plant barcodes with several reference
databases by means of our advanced bioinformatics enables us to determine
species compositions in a reliable fashion, be it botanical single or mixed samples,
samples of tissue, seeds or pollen. In this way we can check if the sown flower
strips include species that reflect the native flora, as well as to which extent
pollinator species respond to and make use of these plant species.
Pollen contains the male germ cells of flowering plants and thus
the DNA copies of the original plant.
Our efficient molecular tools allow us to isolate DNA even from tiny
microscopic particles, such as pollen. A molecular approach to
species identification makes it possible, for instance, to examine
which species of plants in particular are visited by insects, as well as
whether artificially created flowering strips meaningfully contribute to
the stabilization of the pollinator networks.
The sorting of honey into different types is based on the
classification of the pollen residue in honey. The proportions and
origin of the pollen are determined and the honey sample is
assigned to a corresponding variety.
With the help of our specific pollen markers, we can carry out qualitative
and semi-quantitative analyses of pollen residues in honey samples.
DNA metabarcoding enables identification of the botanical and thus
often the geographical origin of the nectar brought in by the bees. The
molecular analysis can support the classical examinations in a
Traditionally, mixed pollen samples are examined
morphologically under the microscope.
Until recently the quantity and botanical origin of the pollen in honey,
adhesive tape or environmental samples could only be determined
morphologically. In some cases, this approach can also determine the
geographical origin. Some plant species with characteristic pollen
morphology can be assessed more easily, while other groups can only
be identified taxonomically up to the family.
We identify the plant species present in a pollen sample with a highly specialized
and very effective DNA barcoding workflow.
This methodology enables us to quickly and efficiently identify the different species
present. This is especially important for samples containing many species. Utilizing DNA
barcode fragments, we can identify species even if taxonomic expertise is lacking, or a
sample cannot be determined morphologically.
molecular honey analysis 2.0
Our metabarcoding technology allows an analysis of thousands of organisms
- from hundreds of samples – simultaneously!
The DNA of the target plants
is extracted from the pollen
residues in the honey
In the first bioinformatics
step, the raw sequence
data is quality filtered,
cleaned, clustered and
prepared for database
When it comes to honey, bees take over the sampling of
the genetic material by collecting pollen and nectar!
Even small amounts of honey
are suitable for genetic analysis.
These should be sent in a tightly
The genetic region required
for DNA barcoding is
amplified. Then, the DNA
fragments of each sample
are given a unique marker
and are sequenced.
The sequences are compared
with the publicly accessible
databases (BOLD, UNITE,
NCBI GenBank) to identify
library sequences that closely
Depending on the question,
detailed species lists are
created and supplemented
with additional metadata
(e.g. geographical origin,
flowering periods). In
evaluations and special
can be carried out at the
AIM – Advanced Identification Methods GmbH
+ 49 / (0)341 33 20 31 743
+ 49 / (0)172 237 83 76
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