Our Biology Department Researchers Develop Two New Diagnostic Keys
01.05.2021 / Projects

Specimen identification is crucial in all biological studies, such as in biodiversity, ecology, phylogenetic studies, and quantifying pathogen transmission. Dichotomous keys have been helpful for nearly two centuries, and now computer-aided keys fill in their place. Dr. Filiz Günay, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Özge Erişöz Kasap, and Prof. Dr. Bülent Alten from Hacettepe University Biology Department together with partners from several countries have developed two new computer based identification keys in order to identify medically important sand flies and mosquitoes in the framework of MediLabSecure project funded by European Commission (DEVCO/EuropeAid (Contract Number: IFS/2013/330 961).   

PhlebKeyTool has been developed to identify 84 sand fly taxa (Diptera: Psychodiade) distributes in Europe, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle-East, the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. PhlebKeyTool Version 1 has been developed in the framework of the MedilabSecure project by a consortium of specialists from seven countries coordinated by Dr. Özge Erişöz Kasap and Prof. Dr. Bülent Alten. The tool is the first comprehensive computer-based sand fly identification key developed for this geographical area. The database of the tool was constructed by using all the published, online, and computer-based identification keys available for the Old World sand flies. Thus, it allows the practical and robust identification of sand flies using a single basis. The PhlebKeyTool is an open access key for those who are interested in vector ecology, vector taxonomy, medical entomology, and epidemiology.
Details are available: https://www.medilabsecure.com/phlebkeytool.html

MosKeyTool was produced in 2017, to identify 132 mosquito species in 70 countries of the Western Palearctic Region. The freely available tool prepared by Dr. Filiz Gunay with Vincent Robert and Marie Picard, while she worked as a Post-doc researcher in IRD Montpellier, France, drew attention due to its usefulness in training non-entomologists as well as young researchers beginning to work on the subject. The spread of invasive mosquito species necessitates a regular update of the database.
Version 2.2 is available: https://www.medilabsecure.com/moskeytool.html