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New digital PCR assay tracks hidden alien species across Skagerrak

[2023-08-28] Many alien species remain unnoticed for a long time until their presence and impact are discovered in our ecosystems. This is especially true for microscopic species living in difficult to access habitats. Seanalytics recently a developed a digital PCR assay

to identify the presence of the newly discovered invasive foraminifer Nonionella sp. T1 from sediment cores. The assay offers a quick and practical method for mapping the presence of this alien across large marine areas as it detects very low (<1 copy/μL) concentrations of the target DNA. The detections of the alien species with our new assay also correlates well with traditional morphospecies analysis - but is about 10 times faster.

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Morin et al (2023) Hidden aliens: Application of digital PCR to track an exotic foraminifer across the Skagerrak (North Sea) correlates well with traditional morphospecies analysis. Environ Microbiol. DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.16458