University of Gothenburg
A sample is taken from the fish fin for DNA-analysis.
Photo: Gustaf Almqvist/Azote

Assessing genetic biodiversity - data needs and how to get it?

Knowledge on the genetic structure of species is critical for management of genetic biodiversity. This includes identifying local populations that are genetically distinct and to analyze the degree of differentiation among such populations.

Analysing genetic diversity is today mostly done in research departments and research institutes. Although there is a rapidly growing interest from private enterprises to acquire appropriate skills and experiences, we still recommend to contact a research institute (interested in conservation genetics, population genetics, and similar) for advice. Researcher from the BONUS BAMBI-project can help out with further references.

General recommendations

Pending cooperation with a suitable laboratory you can collect and store samples for future analyses. Some recommendations:

  • Collect at least 50 individuals from each population or sampling location, if possible.
  • The size of tissue samples from animals (muscle) and plants should be approximately 2 x 2 cm. If the individuals are smaller, save whole individuals.
  • Put each sample in plastic bags or bottles and seal. Ideally, individuals are kept separate, to remove risk of contamination.
  • Label with species, date, collection site (GPS-coordinates) and other appropriate information (such as weight, length, sex, age, etc of each individual).
  • Store in freezer at preferably minus 80o C, but at least minus 20oC.