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Comparison of two Citizen Scientist Methods for Collecting Pond Water Samples for Environmental DNA Studies

Buxton, Andrew, Groombridge, Jim, Griffiths, Richard (2018) Comparison of two Citizen Scientist Methods for Collecting Pond Water Samples for Environmental DNA Studies. Citizen Science: Theory and Practice, 3 (2). ISSN 2057-4991. E-ISSN 2057-4991. (In press) (doi:10.5334/cstp.151)

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The use of environmental DNA (eDNA) for the survey of aquatic species offers a wide range of benefits over conventional surveys and has begun to be used by citizen scientists. One advantage of eDNA over conventional survey protocols is the comparative ease with which samples can be collected over a wide geographic area by citizen scientists. However, eDNA collection protocols vary widely between different studies, promoting a need to identify an optimum method. Collection protocols include ethanol precipitation and various filtration methods including those that use electronic vacuum or peristaltic pumps, hand pumps or syringes to capture eDNA on a membrane. We compare the effectiveness of two eDNA collection methods suitable for use by citizen scientists: glass-microfiber syringe filtration and ethanol precipitation. Paired samples of water were analysed for great crested newt (Triturus cristatus) DNA using (1) a laboratory tank experiment using different dilutions of water inoculated with newt DNA; and (2) by sampling naturally colonised ponds. Although syringe filters consistently yielded greater DNA extract concentrations in the tank experiments, this was not the case in samples collected from the field where no difference between the two methods was identified. Clearly, properties within the water – such as algae and particulate matter - can influence the amount of DNA captured by the two methods, so the sampling protocol of choice will depend on the design and goals of the study.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.5334/cstp.151
Uncontrolled keywords: environmental DNA, syringe filters, ethanol precipitation, laboratory tanks, pond, citizen science
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: Richard Griffiths
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2018 13:14 UTC
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2019 08:28 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Groombridge, Jim:
Griffiths, Richard:

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