OTUs are the core objects in the database. They represent taxonomic concepts of any level or rank. Most other objects are attached or referenced through an OTU.
There are two ways to create OTUs. Both start by clicking on the New OTU link.
- You may create a single OTU by filling out the form.
- You can create multiple OTUs at once by clicking on the Include all children? checkbox. This creates an OTU for the chosen taxon name, and every child. Be careful- you may be creating more than you wish, and at present you have to delete OTUs one at a time.
Published names vs. Containing taxon
You can tie your OTU to a published taxonomic name by selecting a taxon name via the blue picker at the top when you edit that OTU. If your OTU represents that taxon name that’s all you need to do. If your OTU is a child of that taxon name you can click the “Is child of published name?” check box. Note that we recently merged the functionality of is/is child to a single dropdown.
Do not place manuscript names in the name field. If you are describing a new species in an currently available genus you should enter the genus name and “new species” in name, field and the full species epithet in the manuscript name field. OTU names are/will be routinely displayed for public use in some cases, and thus it is very important to not include manuscript names in that field.
By default all the OTUs for the current project are listed. In most cases you will not want to see this list, but rather a grouped-list. You can create as many OTU groups as you want in the Groups + Templates tab. When there select a group as a default and when you return to the OTU tab you’ll only see those group members. At present the OTU default group is reset every time you enter a project.
There are various possible names for OTUs. These are color-coded in the list as follows:
Taxon Name Otu Name Manuscript Name Matrix Name (Containing Taxon name)
When you Show an OTU numerous options are available on the left.