Knowledge in sequence: Reconstructing diets and using environmental DNA to advance ecological and environmental understanding.
We can quantitatively reconstruct the diet of herbivores, omnivores, and certain carnivores. Currently, we can reconstruct what plants or invertebrates animals have eaten, but are rapidly expanding our capabilities to other organisms.
The pollen of plants contains chloroplast DNA that can be sequenced. We are able to quantify the assemblages of pollen in air samples, surface samples, or sediments of up to a few thousand years. Plant DNA on environmental surfaces can also be quantified with our techniques.
To date we have provided services for academic researchers, hospitals, conservation agencies and federal agencies. We have reconstructed the diets of everything from bison to grasshoppers to prairie chickens.
We understand that many cases require specialized procedures. Our application scientists are available to consult on individual projects, tailor sampling and analysis protocols, and help develop new techniques. Contact us to discuss your projects.
We provide full service DNA metabarcoding for reconstruction of:
biodiversity assessments, e.g. mixed insect collections.
Currently, we are using trnL for identification of plants and COI primers for identification of insects, but other primers are available. Service includes everything from DNA extraction to sequencing to bioinformatics.
Aquatic Environmental DNA
The abundances of organisms in water can be expensive and time-consuming to quantify. Using NGS and qPCR, we can quantify the relative and absolute abundance of taxa ranging from microbes to phytoplankton to fish in water.
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