Bureau Waardenburg
Varkensmarkt 9
4101 CK Culemborg
the Netherlands
T: +31 (0) 345 512710
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eDNA en Barcodering bij ecologisch onderzoek
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eDNA and barcoding in ecological research

eDNA and barcoding is becoming more widely used in ecological research and monitoring.

Bureau Waardenburg has experience of eDNA sampling and uses this method in monitoring for range of species. Barcoding is a technique used in the identification of certain species and is used to compliment eDNA sampling.  


eDNA as a survey method allows species to be identified on the basis of residual DNA present in the water or soil. This method limits disturbance to the animals and their habitats and is often more efficient than traditional surveying methods. We use eDNA sampling for species such as loaches, great crested newt and water shrew and even crayfish.

We have recently used so-called meta-barcoding to generate lists of species present. This method is particularly useful for uncovering the presence of species that are difficult to detect with traditional methods or that require labour intensive surveying.


DNA-barcoding is used to identify species from parts of DNA. In animals the CO1 gene is used. The order of the base-pairs gives rise to the term barcoding. Comparison of this barcode with a reference collection allows the identification of species. The NCB Naturalis has a collection of databases for these reference materials and Bureau Waardenburg is involved as coordinator for various macrofauna groups.

Barcoding is used for the identification of species that would otherwise be difficult to identify from physical characteristics, such as Wolffia (duckweed species) and the banana slug.

Crayfish plague and bat droppings

Besides the current applications there are a range of potential uses for this technique. Together with Charles University (Prague) and Wageningen University and Research centre (the Netherlands) we have shown the presence of crayfish plague in the Netherlands. Furthermore, we use DNA to identify bat species from their droppings. 

If you have ideas for using molecular techniques then we would be happy to discuss this with you.