Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Digging The Dirt On Diversity

Sampling DNA from soil can help assess the biodiversity of an area without the need for costly and time consuming trapping and tagging of animals. The DNA in the dirt can not only tell researchers which species are living in a given area, but also allow them to accurately estimate the biomass of the species present based on the relative abundance of their DNA in the soil. Tested on farms and safari parks the technique could be easily applied to the field by sending samples from the top 10 centimetres of soil from multiple sites in a territory to a basic laboratory to extract and amplify the DNA before sending it away for sequencing.
Posted by Astrojenny

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