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Environmental DNA Program Makes Conservation Research Faster, More Efficient

The Anacapa Toolkit allows researchers to catalog DNA present in soil and water samples with unprecedented efficiency.

A team of UCLA researchers recently launched open-source software that allows researchers to detect and identify a broad range of species quickly.

Credit: Zack Gold/UCLA

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers have launched open source software to simplify environmental DNA research by allowing scientists to quickly recognize a wide spectrum of species, in order to generate sortable, easy to comprehend results.

Users employ the Anacapa Toolkit by first collecting a sample—typically from soil or water—and extracting its DNA for sequencing.

Anacapa filters the resulting sequences and compares them to a customizable genetic reference library.

UCLA's Paul Barber said the end-product is a spreadsheet of all species in the sample, enabling reconstruction of biological communities.

Said Barber, "Environmental DNA has the potential to transform how resource managers monitor the ecosystems they are in charge of."

From UCLA Newsroom
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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