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A universal tool for marine metazoan species identification -- Towards best practices in proteomic fingerprinting
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  • Sven Rossel,
  • Janna Peters,
  • Nele Charzinski,
  • Angelina Eichsteller,
  • Silke Laakmann,
  • Hermann Neumann,
  • Pedro Martinez
Sven Rossel
Senckenberg am Meer Deutsches Zentrum fur Marine Biodiversitatsforschung

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Janna Peters
Senckenberg am Meer Deutsches Zentrum für Marine Biodiversitätsforschung
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Nele Charzinski
Carl von Ossietzky Universitat Oldenburg
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Angelina Eichsteller
Senckenberg am Meer
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Silke Laakmann
Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity at the University of Oldenburg
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Hermann Neumann
Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut für Seefischerei
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Pedro Martinez
Senckenberg am Meer
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Proteomic fingerprinting using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry is a well-established tool for identifying microorganisms and has shown promising results for identification of animal species, particularly disease vectors and marine organisms. And thus can be a vital tool for biodiversity assessments in ecological studies. However, few studies have tested species identification across different orders and classes. In this study, we collected data from 1,246 specimens and 198 species to test species identification in a diverse dataset. We also evaluated different specimen preparation and data processing approaches for machine learning and developed a workflow to optimize classification using random forest. Our results showed high success rates of over 90%, but we also found that the size of the reference library affects classification error. Additionally, we demonstrated the ability of the method to differentiate marine cryptic-species complexes and to distinguish sexes within species.