Environmental DNA (eDNA) Technology

What is Environmental DNA?

Environmental DNA (eDNA) refers to DNA present in environmental samples such as soil, water, sediments, or air. Organisms release DNA into their environment through secretions and discharges such as saliva, shed skin cells, faeces, gametes, hair or bodily remains. Our team uses specialised genetic tools and facilities  to detect traces of DNA left by these organisms enabling us to confirm species presence even without visual sighting.

The eDNA technology offers a sensitive and cost-efficient alternative to traditional methods of species monitoring which can be expensive and challenging. Applications include detection of invaders or rare species of conservation concern, and biodiversity monitoring.

Specific techniques;

  • Detection of a single target species using sensitive quantitative PCR approaches for low copy number DNA
  • Multi-species detection using eDNA metabarcoding which enables an inventory of key taxonomic groups present in a variety of sample types such as water, soil, stomach contents, and fecal samples;