Environmental monitoring with eDNA

The biodiversity of aquatic ecosystems is crucial to the ecosystem health and resilience to environmental stress. Therefore, monitoring biodiversity is essential to inform us on how ecosystems respond to environmental challenges (e.g. oil spill, climate change). However, traditional monitoring techniques rely on taxonomic expertise and are often costly and time consuming. GhEnToxLab is therefore using new molecular technologies to improve environmental monitoring and to better understand the genomic and genetic basis of biodiversity. GhEnToxLab samples water from marine ecosystems to isolate DNA. This environmental DNA (eDNA) is released in the environment from skin particles, mucus or faces. Then the DNA sequence is determined through primer-probe PCR or sequencing technologies to identify the corresponding species by using their DNA sequence. These new methods are quick and non-invasive. Furthermore, rare and cryptic species, including new species, can be better identified through environmental DNA.


Current researchers
Jana Asselman