eDNA Laboratory Analysis
Environmental DNA (eDNA) is simply DNA that is present in the environment. It originates from sloughed off cells of organisms present in the area. We analyse this DNA to verify the presence or absence of a species in that system. eDNA degrades over time so it provides a snapshot of what organisms are present currently or very recently
Quality and attention to detail is essential, especially when working with such sensitive eDNA methods. SureScreen is ISO9001 accredited and we are currently building up our casefile for external accreditation to ISO17025 for all eDNA work carried out.
Our laboratory handles the DNA work in-house alongside our other forensic work. We also have partnerships with other laboratories such as The University of Derby and QuantuMDx UK, to verify results and sensitivities. Some of our other collaborative projects include the RESPOC system for rapid diagnosis of respiratory diseases and the DNA-based Q-CANCER project developing a fast-processing genetic sequencer for cancer biopsy samples. We use PCR, qPCR and genetic sequencing for a range of disease states.
Currently SureScreen offers testing for:
- Forensic Ecology– Analysis of an unknown sample to determine from what species the sample originates.
- Great Crested Newt GCN eDNA
- Bat Species Identification Service
SureScreen is also currently researching and looking to launch other eDNA testing capabilities such as:
- Crayfish. White Clawed Crayfish, Signal Crayfish and Crayfish Plague.
- Missing Persons in Watercourses
- Freshwater Pearl Mussel Analysis Margaritifera margaritifera
- Demon shrimp Analysis Dikerogammarus haemophabes
- Assessing species richness in an environment through metabarcoding, or universal amplification of all eDNA present, and Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS). Water samples or other mixed samples can be sent in and we will provide a list of all species present.
- Analysis of a sample to match to a specific individual for example is a dog faecal sample from a specific dog, or do the droppings correspond to multiple individual dogs.