Extensive practical guide to DNA-based biodiversity assessment methods published as a ‘living’ document by DNAqua-Net COST Action

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  • January 11, 2022
  • Between 2016 and 2021, over 500 researchers collaborated within the DNAqua-Net international network, funded by the European Union’s European Cooperation in Science and Technology programme (COST), with the goal to develop and advance biodiversity assessment methods based on analysis of DNA obtained from the environment (e.g. river water) or from unsorted collections of organisms.  Such innovative methods are a […]

    One water bucket to find them all: Detecting fish, mammals, and birds from a single sample

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  • September 13, 2021
  • In times of exacerbating biodiversity loss, reliable data on species occurrence are essential. Environmental DNA (eDNA) – DNA released from organisms into the water – is increasingly used to detect fishes in biodiversity monitoring campaigns. However, eDNA turns out to be capable of providing much more than fish occurrence data, including information on other vertebrates. A study, published in the open-access journal Metabarcoding and Metagenomics, demonstrates how comprehensively vertebrate diversity can be assessed at no additional costs.

    Scientists took a rare chance to prove we can quantify biodiversity by ‘testing the water’

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  • December 4, 2020
  • Recent study conducted at a UK fishery farm provides new evidence that DNA from water samples can accurately determine fish abundance and biomass Organisms excrete DNA in their surroundings through metabolic waste, sloughed skin cells or gametes, and this genetic material is referred to as environmental DNA (eDNA). As eDNA can be collected directly from […]

    Pan-European sampling campaign sheds light on the massive diversity of freshwater plankton

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  • January 8, 2018
  • In a major pan-European study, a research team from Germany have successfully extracted environmental DNA (eDNA) from as many as 218 lakes to refute a long-year belief that vital microorganisms do not differ significantly between freshwater bodies and geographic regions the way plants and animals do. Their new-age approach to biodiversity studies resulted in the […]