DOI: 10.1101/515890Jan 9, 2019Paper

Comprehensive biodiversity analysis via ultra-deep patterned flow cell technology: a case study of eDNA metabarcoding seawater

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Greg SingerMehrdad Hajibabaei


The characterization of biodiversity is a crucial element of ecological investigations as well as environmental assessment and monitoring activities. Increasingly, amplicon-based environmental DNA metabarcoding (alternatively, marker gene metagenomics) is used for such studies given its ability to provide biodiversity data from various groups of organisms simply from analysis of bulk environmental samples such as water, soil or sediments. The Illumina MiSeq is currently the most popular tool for carrying out this work, but we set out to determine whether typical studies were reading enough DNA to detect rare organisms (i.e., those that may be of greatest interest such as endangered or invasive species) present in the environment. We collected sea water samples along two transects in Conception Bay, Newfoundland and analyzed them on the MiSeq with a sequencing depth of 100,000 reads per sample (exceeding the 60,000 per sample that is typical of similar studies). We then analyzed these same samples on Illumina's newest high-capacity platform, the NovaSeq, at a depth of 7 million reads per sample. Not surprisingly, the NovaSeq detected many more taxa than the MiSeq thanks to its much greater sequencing depth. However, contrary to ...Continue Reading

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