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Complex interactions between environmental DNA (eDNA) state and water chemistries on eDNA persistence suggested by meta-analyses
  • Toshiaki Jo,
  • Toshifumi Minamoto
Toshiaki Jo
Kobe University
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Toshifumi Minamoto
Kobe University
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Understanding the processes of environmental DNA (eDNA) persistence and degradation is essential to determine the spatiotemporal scale of eDNA signals and accurately estimate species distribution. The effects of environmental factors on eDNA persistence have previously been examined; however, the influence of the physiochemical and molecular states of eDNA on its persistence is not completely understood. Here, we performed meta-analyses including 26 previously published papers on the estimation of first-order eDNA decay rate constants, and assessed the effects of filter pore size, DNA fragment size, target gene, and environmental conditions on eDNA decay rates. Almost all supported models included the interactions between the filter pore size and water temperature, between the target gene and water temperature, and between the target gene and water source, implying the influence of complex interactions between the eDNA state and environmental conditions on eDNA persistence. These findings were generally consistent with the results of a re-analysis of a previous tank experiment which measured the time-series changes in marine fish eDNA concentrations in multiple size fractions after fish removal. Our results suggest that the mechanism of eDNA persistence and degradation cannot be fully understood without knowing not only environmental factors but also cellular and molecular states of eDNA in water. Further verification of the relationship between eDNA state and persistence is required by obtaining more information on eDNA persistence in various experimental and environmental conditions, which will enhance our knowledge on eDNA persistence and support our findings.

Peer review status:POSTED

19 Jul 2020Submitted to Molecular Ecology Resources
13 Aug 2020Assigned to Editor
13 Aug 2020Submission Checks Completed