19 June 2023 by Eduardo Batista
Image: Soil core collections in Transylvania to study soil invertebrates’ diversity using metabarcoding analyses.
DNA barcoding has revolutionized the way we study biodiversity by providing a more efficient and accurate way to identify species. Metabarcoding takes this a step further by using high-throughput sequencing to analyse genetic material from a pool of organisms. This technique has numerous applications, including ecosystem management, microbiome studies, air and water quality monitoring, invasive species detection, conservation biology, and many more.
One key advantage of metabarcoding is that it allows for simultaneous analysis of multiple samples, which can save time and resources. Additionally, because it’s not influenced by the biases and limitations of traditional morphological identification, metabarcoding can provide more consistent results across different life stages, geographic locations, and environmental conditions.
However, there are also some limitations to consider. For example, the quality and quantity of DNA can affect the reliability of results, and bias in PCR amplification can lead to overrepresentation or underrepresentation of certain taxa. Also, interpreting the results of metabarcoding can be challenging if there is little prior knowledge of the ecosystem or the species present.
At rePLANET we are closely following the most recent developments and discussions in the field of metabarcoding. This ensures we build a strong framework for biodiversity detection and monitoring in our projects, when using biodiversity metrics that require DNA Metabarcoding tools. We are dedicated to always being on the frontier and pushing the boundaries when using cutting-edge techniques like metabarcoding. We will continue to learn and explore in order to understand their full potential, as well as limitations which could influence the decision making and knowledge acquisition requirements in the world of conservation.