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

Photo of fluorescence amplification curves from a quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis
Example fluorescence amplification curves from a quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis. 


eDNA detection of aquatic and terrestrial species using quantitative polymerase chain reaction, or qPCR

PCR is a molecular biology laboratory technique that is capable of amplifying very small quantities of DNA so that species can be detected in environmental samples. We use species-specific qPCR tests to detect DNA from amphibians, pollinators and fish, and the process can be adapted for other target organisms. qPCR is a quick and cost-effective way to get presence/absence data relative to traditional survey methods.


Single-plex or multi-plex analysis of samples for single or multi-species assessments

Environmental DNA samples can be tested for a single species of interest or multiple species using qPCR. qPCR tests run at the PNW eDNA Laboratory are carefully designed and validated to target only DNA from the species, or multiple species, of interest. Contact us to learn more about available assays, or work with us to develop an assay for your species of interest.

a person wearing an exam glove holding a plastic bottle partially submerged in a river
Collecting a water sample from the Boise River for eDNA analysis


Field sampling protocol development and testing

Our team is experienced in developing methods for collecting samples for eDNA analysis in the field and optimizing protocols for qPCR to test those samples for DNA from species of interest. Our tools and protocols generate data that is repeatable, reliable, and useful to researchers and managers.

We suggest the use of ESRI Survey123 software for field data collection. 


Study design and consultation

Study design must consider many important factors in order to generate useful data. The Pacific Northwest eDNA Laboratory has experience in designing studies for both aquatic and terrestrial species in diverse habitats.


a person using a pipettor and holding a test vial in a laboratory
A laboratory technician extracts DNA from filtered water samples for eDNA analysis.

Quality Assurance, publication, and database management

Data generated by the Pacific Northwest eDNA Laboratory is subject to strict quality assurance guidelines and has been used in peer-review publications. We utilize an internal database for tracking eDNA samples from the point of collection through analysis and publication. Please browse the publications section of this website to learn more about our published studies.