Mar 17, 2017

AllGenetics joins DNAqua-Net, a COST action focused on eDNA

The goal of DNAqua-Net is to improve and standardise eDNA protocols for biodiversity assessments and biomonitoring of European water bodies.

AllGenetics general manager -Joaquín Vierna- and technical manager -Antón Vizcaíno- attended the kick-off conference of the COST action DNAqua-Net in Essen (Germany) last week.

Scientists from over 40 countries participated in this meeting, which took place at the Universität Duisburg-Essen campus, to improve and standardise current environmental DNA (eDNA) methods and protocols. This technology, which is very similar to DNA metabarcoding, uses high-throughput sequencing for biodiversity assessments and biomonitoring.

To date, biodiversity assessment and biomonitoring have been carried out using traditional sampling and identification techniques. However, this can be time consuming, cost-ineffective, and analyst-dependent. Seeing as governmental agencies are more and more interested in appling eDNA on a routine basis, much effort is being made to devise reliable genomic-based tools which can be cost-effective as well as objective. In this sense, it is expected that DNAqua-Net will play a major role in improving eDNA technology during the upcoming years.

At AllGenetics we have joined different DNAqua-Net working groups to share our know-how, learn from other European colleagues, and take an active part in ongoing discussions. In addition to Antón Vizcaíno and Joaquín Vierna, Verónica Rojo and Neus Marí-Mena are now active in the network as well.

COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is Europe's longest-running intergovernmental framework for cooperation in science and technology and it funds networking activities such as meetings, conferences, workshops, short-term scientific exchanges, training schools, publications, and dissemination activities.