AllGenetics’ head of R+D, Dr Jorge Doña, reveals unexpected bird‐feather mite associations in extensive DNA metabarcoding study

The paper has been published in Molecular Ecology.

Dr Jorge Doña, head of R+D at AllGenetics, Dr Roger Jovani, and their co-workers from the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC) and the Russian Academy of Sciences, have published a new paper in which they reveal, by using DNA metabarcoding, unexpected bird‐feather mite associations. The paper, which is based on extensive field sampling, has significant evolutionary implications as it uncovers a far more dynamic evolutionary scenario for host-specific symbionts than expected.

The wet-lab work, which was carried out at AllGenetics, was a challenging part of the study owing to the non-invasive DNA isolation protocol which was followed; this protocol left very small amounts of DNA for library preparation. The potential effects of index swapping were mitigated by using a novel in-house-developed bioinformatic tool.

The outstanding quality of this work reflects AllGenetics’ expertise in both wet-lab and bioinformatics in DNA metabarcoding and demonstrates, once again, the exceptional advantages of DNA metabarcoding for the bulk analysis of biological samples in eco-evolutionary studies.