Environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding is becoming a key tool for biodiversity monitoring over large geographical or taxonomic scales and for elusive taxa such as soil organisms. Increasing sample sizes and interest in remote or extreme areas often require the preservation of soil samples and thus deviations from optimal standardized protocols. However, we still ignore the impact of different methods of soil sample preservation on the results of metabarcoding studies and there is no guideline for best practices so far. Here, we assessed the impact of four methods of soil sample preservation that can be conveniently used also in metabarcoding studies targeting remote or difficult to access areas. Tested methods include: preservation at room temperature for 6 hr, preservation at 4°C for 3 days, desiccation immediately after sampling and preservation for 21 days, and desiccation after 6 hr at room temperature and preservation for 21 days. For each preservation method, we benchmarked resulting estimates of taxon diversity and community composition of three different taxonomic groups (bacteria, fungi and eukaryotes) in three different habitats (forest, river bank and grassland) against results obtained under ideal conditions (i.e., extraction of eDNA immediately after sampling). Overall, the different preservation methods only marginally impaired results and only under certain conditions. When rare taxa were considered, we detected small but significant changes in molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTU) richness of bacteria, fungi and eukaryotes across treatments, but MOTU richness was similar across preservation methods if rare taxa were not considered. All the approaches were able to identify differences in community structure among habitats, and the communities retrieved using the different preservation conditions were extremely similar. We propose guidelines on the selection of the optimal soil sample preservation conditions for metabarcoding studies, depending on the practical constraints, costs and ultimate research goals.

Effects of soil preservation for biodiversity monitoring using environmental DNA / A. Guerrieri, A. Bonin, T. Munkemuller, L. Gielly, W. Thuiller, G.F. Ficetola. - In: MOLECULAR ECOLOGY. - ISSN 0962-1083. - (2020 Oct 08). [Epub ahead of print] [10.1111/mec.15674]

Effects of soil preservation for biodiversity monitoring using environmental DNA

Guerrieri A.;Bonin A.;Ficetola G. F.
2020-10-08

Abstract

Environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding is becoming a key tool for biodiversity monitoring over large geographical or taxonomic scales and for elusive taxa such as soil organisms. Increasing sample sizes and interest in remote or extreme areas often require the preservation of soil samples and thus deviations from optimal standardized protocols. However, we still ignore the impact of different methods of soil sample preservation on the results of metabarcoding studies and there is no guideline for best practices so far. Here, we assessed the impact of four methods of soil sample preservation that can be conveniently used also in metabarcoding studies targeting remote or difficult to access areas. Tested methods include: preservation at room temperature for 6 hr, preservation at 4°C for 3 days, desiccation immediately after sampling and preservation for 21 days, and desiccation after 6 hr at room temperature and preservation for 21 days. For each preservation method, we benchmarked resulting estimates of taxon diversity and community composition of three different taxonomic groups (bacteria, fungi and eukaryotes) in three different habitats (forest, river bank and grassland) against results obtained under ideal conditions (i.e., extraction of eDNA immediately after sampling). Overall, the different preservation methods only marginally impaired results and only under certain conditions. When rare taxa were considered, we detected small but significant changes in molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTU) richness of bacteria, fungi and eukaryotes across treatments, but MOTU richness was similar across preservation methods if rare taxa were not considered. All the approaches were able to identify differences in community structure among habitats, and the communities retrieved using the different preservation conditions were extremely similar. We propose guidelines on the selection of the optimal soil sample preservation conditions for metabarcoding studies, depending on the practical constraints, costs and ultimate research goals.
eDNA metabarcoding; eukaryotes; microbial communities; MOTU richness; sample storage; α and β diversity
Settore BIO/07 - Ecologia
Settore BIO/05 - Zoologia
Settore BIO/11 - Biologia Molecolare
Settore BIO/18 - Genetica
Settore BIO/19 - Microbiologia Generale
Reconstructing community dynamics and ecosystem functioning after glacial retreat (IceCommunities)
MOLECULAR ECOLOGY
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/791337
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