Colloquium of the Platform Biodiversity: Splitting eDNA in its fractions. Challenges and opportunities for a more reliable molecular biodiversity monitoring

The analysis of environmental DNA (eDNA) is revolutionizing biodiversity monitoring as it allows to assess organismic diversity at large scale and unprecedented taxonomic detail. In this research, the researcher is investigating the utility of separating environmental DNA (eDNA) into extracellular (exDNA) and intracellular (iDNA) fractions for enhanced ecological insights. By subjecting samples to sequential washings, exDNA and iDNA are separated, followed by DNA extraction and downstream analyses. The approach deepens sampling, reduces false-positive detections in eDNA monitoring, may distinguish autochthonous and allochthonous species, and reveals microbial activity and physiological state. Splitting eDNA offers a simple yet promising way to amplify spatial, temporal, quantitative, and qualitative information in eDNA studies.

Magdalena Nagler, Senior Researcher & Marie-Curie Stipendium at Eurac, AlpEnv Institute, conducts research in microbial ecology with a focus on soil & anaerobic habitats.

The colloquium will take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday, September 13th, at the Museum of Nature South Tyrol in German language. Admission is free. Online registration is required.

The event can also be followed online on the Museum’s YouTube channel.