How are Samples Analyzed?

Here's on overview of the various steps CALeDNA undergoes to extract DNA from  the samples collected by community scientists.

1. What happens to a sample sent to CALeDNA?

We handle all samples with care and intend to preserve them for 100 years so people can use them to track changes in the environment, particularly the living communities that have shed DNA into these tubes.

2. Starting a new project

CALeDNA processes samples from its museum of frozen samples, collected by community scientists, for research on California's biodiversity. Any researcher can request to use the samples.

3. DNA Extraction for CALeDNA

We use DNA PowerSoil kits to extract DNA from soil and sediment.

4. Overview of environmental DNA metabarcoding

 DNA metabarcoding is the technique CALeDNA uses to determine the organisms the environmental DNA in soil, sediment, sand, or even water comes from.

5. Amplifying, cleaning, and pooling DNA metabarcoding libraries

To create DNA metabarcoding libraries, we use at least five primers to match different kinds of organisms (there's no one size for all). These amplify for commonly used barcoding loci. After making copies, we attach index tags so we can mix the samples and sequence them together, but tell which sequences belong to which samples later, based on the index tags.