Apr 28, 2020

Improved freshwater macroinvertebrate detection from eDNA through minimized non-target amplification

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Florian LeeseV. M. A. Zizka

Abstract

DNA metabarcoding of freshwater communities typically relies on PCR amplification of a fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase (COI) gene with degenerate primers. The advantage of COI is its taxonomic resolution and the availability of an extensive reference database. However, when universal primers are used on environmental DNA (eDNA) isolated from stream water, macroinvertebrate read and OTU numbers are typically `watered down', i.e. diluted, compared to whole specimen `bulk samples' due to greater co-amplification of abundant non-target taxa such as algae and bacteria. Because stream macroinvertebrate taxa are of prime importance for regulatory biomonitoring, more effective ways to capture their diversity via eDNA isolated from water are important. In this study, we aimed to improve macroinvertebrate assessment from eDNA by minimizing non-target amplification. Therefore, we generated data using universal primers BF2/BR2 throughout 15 months from a German Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site, the River Kinzig, to identify most abundant non-target taxa. Based on these data, we designed a new reverse primer (EPTDr2n) with 3'-specificity towards macrozoobenthic taxa and validated its specificity in silico togethe...Continue Reading

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