The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency has decided to finance the new research project Life-DNAquatic with approx. 500 000 € for three years (2019-2021). AquaBiota is the main applicant and researchers at Nature Metrics (UK), University of Hull (UK), MoRe Research (SE), Swedish Agricultural University (SE) and INBO (BE) will also participate in the project.
The project LifeDNAquatic will build on the existing knowledge that already is available within the project consortium and their research network to develop methods and techniques for field sampling, sample processing and storage of environmental DNA samples in four types of Swedish aquatic environments: streams, lakes, wetlands and the marine environment. The project consortium was developed thanks to the EU COST Action “Developing new genetic tools for bioassessment of aquatic ecosystems in Europe (DNAqua-Net)”. The LifeDNAquatic project seeks to compare different sampling designs, eDNA capture routines, eDNA integrity under variable conservation methods, and DNA extraction methods. It also aims to compare cost-benefits of using eDNA compared to conventional methods for freshwater biomonitoring. The project investigates aspects that are highly relevant to the use of eDNA in future biomonitoring of many aquatic habitats and will deliver protocols to make monitoring more efficient. The results will likely also be very important for monitoring of aquatic biodiversity in Sweden.