Environmental DNA (e-DNA) – UPSC Prelims

Environmental DNA (e-DNA):
  • Environmental DNA or eDNA is DNA that is collected from a variety of environmental samples such as soil, seawater, snow or air rather than directly sampled from an individual organism.
  • Example sources of eDNA include faeces, mucus, gametes, shed skin, carcasses and hair.
  • Researchers have found that Airborne DNA (Sampling the air around animals) can yield valuable genetic material that can identify ecological interaction between different species, besides recognising the animals.
  • Airborne e-DNA could help understand the composition of animal communities and detect the spread of non-native species.
  • It can also aid in tracking long-distance migratory birds and other birds’ flying patterns.
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