– Inter-laboratory verification of commercial eDNA assays for frogs and fish with sample handling and interpretation
Reliable detection of target species through environmental DNA (eDNA) is a valuable scientific tool. Based on the premise that animals shed DNA into their environment, eDNA is particularly advantageous for aquatic and semi-aquatic species as shed DNA is transported through the aquatic environment, improving the ability to detect the target species. Reported advantages of eDNA compared with traditional methods include enhanced sensitivity and accuracy, lower sampling effort and cost, expanded window for sample collection and reduced invasiveness to the habitat and organism. Regulatory acceptance of eDNA requires that results are reliable and defensible. This can be achieved through proper field sampling, sample handling and laboratory assay design and validation. This presentation will discuss best practices for eDNA sample collection and preservation, eDNA results interpretation, and reproducibility through a collaborative case study and inter-laboratory comparison.