Environmental DNA (eDNA) - Debmarine Namibia | Debmarine Namibia

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Environmental DNA (eDNA)


Environmental DNA (eDNA) is an innovative approach to assessing biodiversity in which samples are collected from the environment, such as water, sediment, or air. DNA is extracted from these samples and analysed to determine the presence of different species and evaluate overall biodiversity. 

As animals traverse through various habitats, they naturally shed cells that carry DNA, including skin cells, mucous, faeces, and urine. These DNA-containing cells then enter the water or sediment as eDNA and remain detectable for hours to a few days. The eDNA can be captured and used to survey species, determine species richness, baseline biotic communities, and track changes in community composition or phylogenetic diversity over time. 

The main objectives of eDNA analysis are to:

  • Use sediment and water column metabarcoding to establish a genetic baseline of marine benthic sediment in-fauna and bacteria diversity in Atlantic 1 MLA. 
  • Use DNA barcoding to develop a genetic reference library of species collected in conventional marine benthic surveys. 
  • To use annual sampling to track and evaluate different stages of site recovery over the long term, informing progress towards net positive impact (NPI) and providing site biodiversity metrics. 

Namibia leading in Marine Diamond Recovery

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