Biodiv Sci ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (5): 480-490.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018227

• Reviews • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Biodiversity monitoring of freshwater benthic macroinvertebrates using environmental DNA

Li Meng1,Wei Tingting1,Shi Boyang1,Hao Xiyang1,Xu Haigen2,Sun Hongying1,*()   

  1. 1 Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Biodiversity and Biotechnology, College of Life Sciences, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023
    2 Nanjing Institute of Environmental Sciences, Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Nanjing 210042
  • Received:2018-08-17 Accepted:2018-12-27 Online:2019-05-20 Published:2019-05-20
  • Contact: Sun Hongying


Environmental DNA (eDNA) refers to DNA fragments that organisms leave behind in their surrounding environment (such as soil, sediment and water). eDNA technology sequences these DNA fragments and can provide information on taxonomic composition of benthic macroinvertebrate communities. Compared with traditional biological survey methods, eDNA technology is more sensitive, efficient and noninvasive. As a novel method for surveying aquatic organisms, eDNA techniques have been widely used in biodiversity assessments of aquatic organisms, including monitoring of endangered, rare and invasive species. In this review, we summarize recent developments in eDNA technology and focus primarily on the operational procedure and its application for freshwater benthic macroinvertebrate analyses. Finally, we discuss the advantages and potential caveats of current eDNA practices.

Key words: metabarcoding, next-generation sequencing, invasive species, freshwater ecosystem, cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI)