Metabarcoding of marine environmental DNA based on mitochondrial and nuclear genes

silke.laakmann [ at ]


We establish the new approach of environmental DNA (eDNA) analyses for the North Sea. Our study uses a multigene approach, including the mitochondrial cytochrome-c-oxidase subunit I (COI) gene for analyzing species composition and the nuclear hypervariable region V8 of 18S rDNA for analyzing supraspecific biodiversity. A new minibarcode primer (124 bp) was created on the basis of a metazoan COI barcode library with 506 species and tested in silico, in vitro, and in situ. We applied high throughput sequencing to filtrates of 23 near-bottom water samples taken at three seasons from 14 stations. The set of COI primers allowed amplification of mitochondrial minibarcodes for diverse metazoan phyla and the differentiation at the species level for more than 99% of the specimens in the dataset. Our results revealed that the number of sequences is not consistent with proportions in the given DNA mixture. Altogether, environmental sequences could be assigned to 114 species and to 12 metazoan phyla. A spatial distribution of taxa recovered by eDNA was congruent with known distributions. Finally, the successful detection of species and biodiversity depends on a comprehensive sequence reference database. Our study offers a powerful tool for future biodiversity research, including the detection of nonnative species.

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DOI 10.1038/s41598-018-32917-x

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Günther, B. , Knebelsberger, T. , Neumann, H. , Laakmann, S. and Martínez Arbizu, P. (2018): Metabarcoding of marine environmental DNA based on mitochondrial and nuclear genes , Scientific Reports, 8 (1) . doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-32917-x

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