The ecology of environmental DNA and implications for conservation genetics

  title={The ecology of environmental DNA and implications for conservation genetics},
  author={Matthew A. Barnes and Cameron R. Turner},
  journal={Conservation Genetics},
  • M. Barnes, C. Turner
  • Published 1 February 2016
  • Environmental Science, Biology
  • Conservation Genetics
Environmental DNA (eDNA) refers to the genetic material that can be extracted from bulk environmental samples such as soil, water, and even air. [] Key Result Additionally, we identify frontiers of conservation-focused eDNA application where we see the most potential for growth, including the use of eDNA for estimating population size, population genetic and genomic analyses via eDNA, inclusion of other indicator biomolecules such as environmental RNA or proteins, automated sample collection and analysis…

Editorial: Environmental DNA Innovations for Conservation

Environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis refers to the collection of bulk environmental samples such as water, sediment, or air, and studying the genetic remnants that organisms have shed into their

The importance of molecular markers and primer design when characterizing biodiversity from environmental DNA.

A number of options and approaches that can be used when determining which primers and gene regions are most appropriate for either targeted species detection or metabarcoding macro-organisms from eDNA are discussed.

Understanding the effects of biotic and abiotic factors on sources of aquatic environmental DNA

  • K. Stewart
  • Environmental Science
    Biodiversity and Conservation
  • 2019
A review of publications on aquatic macroorganism eDNA that have evaluated or considered the effect of sources on signal detection (or quantification) and finds few studies acknowledge, and fewer still evaluate, the impact of eDNA production on genomic signal recovery.

Environmental Population Genomics: Challenges and Opportunities

What genomic information may be able to be harvested from environmental samples and how this material may be distributed in the environment are focused on, as well as approaches for how sampling design could be used to gain insights into populations and communities are explored.

Beyond Biodiversity: Can Environmental DNA (eDNA) Cut It as a Population Genetics Tool?

Current research that employs eDNA approaches for the study of populations is reviewed, challenges facing eDNA-based population genetic methodologies are outlined, and avenues of research for future developments are suggested.

A review on the applications and recent advances in environmental DNA (eDNA) metagenomics

Although the application of eDNA is intensifying swiftly at a global scale, there are still some knowledge gaps, especially with methods and applications, and procedures require some refinements and validations to diminish the burden of false positives/negatives.

Predicting the fate of eDNA in the environment and implications for studying biodiversity

This review discusses the role that differing environments play on the major processes that eDNA undergoes between organism and collection, including shedding, decay and transport, and focuses on a mechanistic understanding of these processes.

Applications of environmental DNA (eDNA) in ecology and conservation: opportunities, challenges and prospects

This work reviews and synthesizes eDNA studies published to date to highlight the opportunities and limitations of utilizing eDNA in ecology and conservation, and identifies potential ways of reducing limitations in eDNA analysis.

Environmental DNA as a tool for monitoring Antarctic vertebrates

eDNA could be a valuable tool for researchers in their efforts to assess, monitor, and conserve biodiversity in the Antarctic and the potential for the use of portable sequencing technologies in the future of Antarctic eDNA research is highlighted.



REVIEW: The detection of aquatic animal species using environmental DNA – a review of eDNA as a survey tool in ecology

New ideas for how eDNA can be used for conservation and management are included, for instance, the potential for on-site analyses, including the application of eDNA analysis to carbon nanotube platforms or laser transmission spectroscopy to facilitate rapid on- site detections.

Investigating the Potential Use of Environmental DNA (eDNA) for Genetic Monitoring of Marine Mammals

To determine the potential use of eDNA for genetic monitoring, specific primers that amplify short mitochondrial DNA sequences were used to detect the presence of a marine mammal, the harbor porpoise, in a controlled environment and in natural marine locations.

Ancient and modern environmental DNA

EDNA has revealed an ancient forest in Greenland, extended by several thousand years the survival dates for mainland woolly mammoth in Alaska, and pushed back the dates for spruce survival in Scandinavian ice-free refugia during the last glaciation.

Transport Distance of Invertebrate Environmental DNA in a Natural River

The results indicate that there may be species' specific transport distances for eDNA and demonstrate for the first time that invertebrate eDNA can persist over relatively large distances in a natural river system.

Species detection using environmental DNA from water samples

A novel approach, based on the limited persistence of DNA in the environment, to detect the presence of a species in fresh water, using specific primers that amplify short mitochondrial DNA sequences to track the existence of a frog in controlled environments and natural wetlands.

Persistence of Environmental DNA in Freshwater Ecosystems

Improve the knowledge on DNA persistence in water in order to confirm the presence of the focus species in freshwater ecosystems and to greatly influence planning of biodiversity inventories and biosecurity surveys.

Biodiversity assessment: state-of-the-art techniques in phylogenomics and species identification.

An abundance of genomic information will have a broad range of applications, including not only helping conservation biologists understand ecosystem biodiversity, but also understanding the evolutionary histories of organisms, mending damaged landscapes, and investigating interactions of plants with pollinators and pests.

Release and persistence of extracellular DNA in the environment.

There is a need for improved methods for accurately determining the degradation routes and the persistence, integrity and potential for horizontal transfer of DNA released from various organisms throughout their lifecycles.

Advancing ecological understandings through technological transformations in noninvasive genetics

It is shown that many advances come from the fields of forensics, human health and domestic animal health science, and it is suggested that molecular ecologists explore literature from these fields, to continually increase the power and role of noninvasive genetics in molecular ecology and conservation genetics.

Using Environmental DNA to Estimate the Distribution of an Invasive Fish Species in Ponds

The eDNA method simply and rapidly detects the presence of the invasive bluegill sunfish with less disturbance to the environment during field surveys than traditional methods.