In news- Recently, two independent studies have found that e-DNA floating in the air can boost biodiversity conservation efforts across the world.
What is environmental DNA (e-DNA)?
- e-DNA is defined as genetic material obtained directly from environmental samples (soil, sediment, water, etc.) without any obvious signs of biological source material.
- eDNA is nuclear or mitochondrial DNA that is released from an organism into the environment.
- It is an efficient, non-invasive and easy-to-standardize sampling approach.
- Sources of eDNA include secreted feces, mucous, and gametes, shed skin and hair, and carcasses.
- eDNA can be detected in cellular or extracellular (dissolved DNA) form.
- It can potentially identify and monitor terrestrial animals and offers an unprecedented opportunity for monitoring native and invasive species, as well as for biodiversity assessments.
- Tracking animals through e-DNA isn’t a new idea as biologists have frequently observed aquatic organisms by sequencing e-DNA from water samples.