Starting an eDNA Project
The first thing to consider when starting a new project is whether the species has been analyzed for eDNA before. If available, probe and primer sequences will be available to construct an assay. If not, we will use sequence data from a public database to design a custom assay. In either case, it is important to test the assay against representatives from the sampling region, as well as any co-occurring related species that may cross-react. Regional variations in populations have been known to impact the specificity of eDNA assays.
Sampling guidelines are available. They may need to be adapted to field conditions and equipment availability. We recommend you filter your water within 24 hours of sampling, keeping samples on ice and protected from light. However, if filtration is not possible we can accept water samples for an additional processing charge.
We currently have assays in place for Coastal Tailed Frog, Spadefoot Toad, Western Pained Turtle, and Red Eared Sliders. We are also developing several fish assay sets. If we design an assay for you, we do ask that the resulting primer and probe sequences be open access. Similarly, if you are a member of a lab group that utilizes our primer sets, let us know how they worked for your samples.