[Annelida] Vouchers again

Elena Kupriyanova via annelida%40net.bio.net (by lena.kupriyanova from gmail.com)
Wed Jun 25 20:54:39 EST 2008

Dear friends and colleagues,

I have no doubts in my mind that vouchers are crucially important in 
molecular phylogenetic studies. And I cannot help noticing that the 
current situation is not as bad as Geoff's and Mary's messages might 
Although Mary mentions that in 2004GenBank did not request that data be 
tied to extant specimens, they certainly do now. Below is a copy of a 
message sent to me in Oct. 2007.

Dear Dr. Kupriyanova,

Please find your assigned Accession Number(s) in the letter below.
Although you provided unique descriptions for each of your sequence 
submissions, we note you did not include specimen vouchers for the 
organisms.  Specimen vouchers provide a means to verify the identity 
of a taxon and are a source for additional molecular analyses.  The 
voucher specimen is given a unique number, clearly annotated as being 
the source of a genetic sequence, and is deposited in a repository 
(such as a museum collection or herbarium).  

Send this information to gb-admin from ncbi.nlm.nih.gov in the following 
tab-delimited table format:

accession number	specimen-voucher
----------------	----------------

EUxxxxxx	AMNH 000000
EUxxxxxx	C.S. Shen 2459 (HMAS)
EUxxxxxx	LCCC 0203 

Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you soon.
The GenBank Submissions Staff
Bethesda, Maryland USA

I am also positive (since all sequences I submitted to GenBank are 
accompanied by voucher numbers) that currently at GenBank there is a 
dedicated field for specification of vouchers. Clearly, if "only a 
minority of journals require that vouchers connected to the genetic 
information be deposited in museums or other institutions", this is 
something that needs to be changed in near future. Also, I wonder if the 
time has come for all descriptions of new species and all traditional 
taxonomic revisions to include some genetic information? It looks like 
nowadays sequencing is less problematic than proper ids: ) would love to 
hear any ideas on the topic

> Noticed this from Fred and others in the latest issue of Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution: 
> http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/10557903 
> Pleijel, F.; Jondelius, U.; Norlinder, E.; Nygren, A.; Oxelman, B.; Schander, C.; Sundberg, P. ; Thollesson, M. 2008:  Phylogenies without roots? A plea for the use of vouchers in molecular phylogenetic studies.  Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 48(1): 369-371.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2008.03.024 
> Quote for flavour: "Today there is a large number of sequences deposited at GenBank that are incorrectly labeled and, unless remedied, these will continuously be associated with the wrong taxa. Vouchers constitute an essential link between data and taxa, and provide a means to verify the taxonomic identity of the specimens sequenced. However, only a minority of journals require that vouchers connected to the genetic information be deposited in museums or other institutions. Furthermore, at GenBank there is currently no dedicated field for specification of vouchers."

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