The First International eDNA Workshop in Hong Kong : A beginner's guide for the next-generation eDNA researcher

Mathew SEYMOUR*, Isis GUIBERT, Gert‐Jan JEUNEN, Micaela HELLSTRÖM, Matthieu LERAY, Vasco ELBRECT, Anthony LAU, Maxine CUTRACCI, Chun Ming HOW, Jack Chi Ho IP, Zifang LIU, Jessica MOFFITT, Cheng QIAN, Xian QIN, Cham Man TSE, Yifu WANG, Zhi WANG, Xiaoyi ZENG, Meihong ZHAO

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsComment / Debate Research

Abstract

The field of environmental DNA (eDNA) has rapidly advanced in recent years, providing a non-invasive and time-saving method for assessing biodiversity. The First International Environmental DNA (eDNA) Workshop in Hong Kong was held from 16 to 27 October 2023 and provided early career professionals with hands-on training and collaboration opportunities in eDNA research. With support from The Croucher Foundation Limited (Hong Kong), the workshop covered all stages of an eDNA-based research project, including study design, field sampling, eDNA extraction, library preparation, bioinformatics, statistical data analysis, and ethics in scientific research. Participants gained insights into the principles and practical applications of eDNA technology, emphasizing the importance of careful experimental design and data interpretation. The workshop also highlighted the need for standardized protocols, comprehensive and local DNA reference databases, and careful selection of primer sets to overcome current issues and limitations. Workshop participants expressed enthusiasm for the potential of eDNA metabarcoding as a valuable tool for ecological monitoring, biodiversity assessment, and conservation decision-making. The future of eDNA research looks promising overall, with continued advancements in technology, collaboration among researchers, and the integration of eDNA into large-scale ecological monitoring. Future iterations of the Hong Kong International eDNA workshop will continue to provide hands-on training and collaboration opportunities for early career professionals interested in eDNA research, focusing on addressing current limitations and challenges in the field.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere552
JournalEnvironmental DNA
Volume6
Issue number3
Early online date4 May 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 May 2024

Bibliographical note

We acknowledge The Croucher Foundation Limited (Hong Kong) for funding support via a Sponsorship of Conferences grant. Additional thanks to The eDNA Collaborative (Seattle, USA) for their input and discussions during the workshop. We also thank the members of the workshop committee, including David Baker, Shelby McIlroy, Kenneth Leung, Meng Yan, Jianwen Qiu, Jerome Hui, Jonathan Fong, Anthony Lau and Chi Chiu Cheang. We are also grateful to the eDNA and eEcology Lab members that helped with logistics including Kwan Yan Wong, Cheung Shuk Kwan, Ka Lam Karen Yeung John Ross Gabriel Sison Badajos, Si Zhewei, and Rachel Wong.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors. Environmental DNA published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Keywords

  • biodiversity assessment
  • bioinformatics
  • conservation
  • early career professionals
  • metabarcoding
  • study design

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