Molecular methods

Over the past three decades molecular methods became an indispensable tool in marine biodiversity research, as they are very well suited to uncover known and unknown marine biodiversity, they have good potential for automation, and they can be used to determine potential and actual expressed genes from oceanic organisms (via genomics and transcriptomics). Most studies to date are based on occasional or short-term sampling lasting less than three years, with only a few examples extending over 10 years. This is likely associated with the tremendously rapid technical progress in molecular biology over the past 10 years, such as the invention of high throughput sequencing technology (e.g., Illumina HiSeq platform) that can deliver assessments of marine microbial (eukaryotes and prokaryotes) biodiversity with unprecedented resolution and scale.