Tag Archives: eDNA

Spider webs catch more than prey. They’re also jam-packed with animal DNA

February 7, 2024 | CBC.ca via UVic News

Innovations in the field of environmental DNA (eDNA) have determined that traces of vertebrate DNA can be collected from soil, water, plants, and even air. Scientists in Australia have now added spider webs to that list. Collecting DNA from first an animal sanctuary in Perth and then the Perth Zoo, these scientists have gathered valuable research that will advance this emerging field of study.

UVic’s Dr. Mark Louie Lopez applauds the cleverness of using spider webs to collect eDNA. This method is quicker than others (such as collecting from blood-sucking creatures), and it addresses some barriers that make eDNA detection difficult (such as confounding organic inhibitors). He stresses, though, that eDNA cannot give a full picture of biological diversity.

Dr. Lopez is a University of Victoria researcher with the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology’s C. Helbing Lab, as well as an iTrackDNA and Liber Ero postdoctoral fellow. To learn more from this exciting scholar, please visit the University of Victoria’s open access institutional repository UVicSpace, where one of Dr. Lopez’s publications is available.