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About

The Pacific Northwest eDNA Laboratory provides ecological guidance, consultation in project development, protocols, sampling design, molecular techniques, statistical analysis, interpretation and reporting for eDNA research projects related to species detection.  

exterior of a building with blue sky
The campus of the Idaho Water Science Center in Boise, ID

 

In 2017, the Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center received funding to establish a state-of-the-art environmental DNA laboratory to serve

the research needs of DOI bureaus, other federal agencies, and cooperators. Our facility is located on the campus of the USGS Idaho Water Science Center, conveniently located near Boise State University, allowing for more opportunities for students to participate in this rapidly evolving field of research. 

 

What is eDNA? 

Environmental DNA - or eDNA - is any DNA that is separated from the organism and is temporarily persistent in the environment.

eDNA can come from any cells containing genetic material, living or dead, such as from sloughed skin cells and excretions. Since eDNA was first used in 2008 to detect invasive bullfrogs in wetlands, the field of eDNA analysis has exploded as a revolutionary way to increase species detection.

person kneeling on stream bank surrounded by sampling equipment
A technician collects eDNA samples alongside a stream in the Nevada wilderness

What can eDNA be used for?  eDNA methods are being widely adopted by researchers and natural resource agencies for early detection of invasive species and assessing species distributions and aquatic biodiversity. The methods are particularly useful for rare and secretive species because eDNA methods can detect species without direct observation or handling. In many cases, eDNA methods are better able to detect species than traditional methods. The methods also can be employed relatively easily in the field (even allowing for involvement of citizen scientists) and often reduces costs compared with traditional sampling.

 

Capabilities

The Pacific Northwest eDNA Laboratory provides technical expertise on eDNA ecological applications, project development, protocols, sampling design, molecular techniques, statistical analysis, interpretation, and reporting. 

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Capabilities

The Pacific Northwest eDNA Laboratory provides technical expertise on eDNA ecological applications, project development, protocols, sampling design, molecular techniques, statistical analysis, interpretation, and reporting. 

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