Rapid developments in high-throughput sequencing platforms are providing a step change in the recoverability of DNA sequence data from natural history collections. Short-read massively parallel sequencers are intrinsically well suited to recovery of sequence data from the degraded DNAs typically present in natural history collections.

However, this field has been moving rapidly, and various groups have developed different approaches for how best to use these new technical advances.

This one day meeting will focus on two main questions:

  • What types of data can be routinely recovered from what type of material? (what can be done)
  • What protocols and platforms are proving most efficient? (how to do it)


This multinational meeting, with ten speakers from eight institutes, from Europe and Canada, has been organised with support from the SYNTHESYS Project (312253) financed by European Community Research Infrastructure Action.

Follow updates on Twitter #MuSeq2017 and look out for live streaming of the talks from 9:15am British Summer Time


9:15-9:20am: Welcome from the Director of Science, RBGE – Prof Pete Hollingsworth

9:20-9:50am: The view from the cabinet – bringing the brave new world to natural history collections? Dr Sandy Knapp, NHM, UK
9:50-10:20am: Sanger to SMRT: Liberating sequences from museum specimens Prof Paul Hebert, University of Guelph, Canada


10:20-10:50am: Plant archaeogenomes: what is preserved and what is possible Prof Robin Allaby, University of Warwick, UK
11:20-11:50am: Capturing genes from herbaria Dr Michelle Hart, RBGE, UK
11:50am-12:20pm: Assembling full-length COI barcodes from degraded DNA using high-throughput sequencing Sean Prosser, University of Guelph, Canada
12:20-12:50pm: Genome skimming as an extension of standard barcodes Dr Pierre Taberlet, France
2:00-2:30pm: The potential of shotgun mitogenomics for analysis of bulk specimen samples and museum collections Prof Alfried Vogler, NHM, UK
2:30-3:00pm: Phylogenomics of museum collections to illuminate the biogeographical history of rare and extinct lineages Dr Guillaume Besnard, France
3:00-3:30pm: Herbarium DNA, fragmentation and plastomics: getting archival plant DNA to work. Dr Freek Bakker, Wageningen, Netherlands


4:00-4:30pm: No sample left behind! Mikkel Holger Strander Sinding University of Copenhagen, Denmark