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eDNA Analysis, An Easier Way To Do Coral Surveys

Checking on the health of coral reefs is vital now more than ever especially with the threat of more bleaching events happening due to worsening climate conditions.

As it stands, it might take the Great Barrier Reef at least a decade to recover from the subsequent bleaching events it endured in just the past four years. But trying to assess coral reefs' condition is painstakingly tedious and expensive.

(Image credit: skeeze/Pixabay)

On the other hand, scientists looked into using DNA material expelled by marine organisms into the water, also known as environmental DNA (or eDNA), as a means of making the process a lot easier.

Now, scientists from the University of Hawaii at Manoa have discovered that it also works for coral surveys. Utilizing a single-step "metabarcoding" process, marine biology grad student Patrick Nichols and Assoc. Prof. Peter Marko were able to identify all of the coral DNA sequences present in one water sample.

(Image credit: joakant/Pixabay)


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