expensive and inaccurate. AQUAeD aims to replace the current environmental monitoring analyses with digital DNA based solutions, as well as moving the analyses to the facilities to achieve fast and accurate results. In the project, the results from traditional analyses will initially be compared with that obtained with the new DNA-based technologies. Then, a database of DNA data will be established that can be used to describe the environmental state directly without performing the time-consuming and inaccurate traditional analyses. Since the DNA analyses are so easy to perform, the entire analysis will be carried out at the facilities using cloud bases solutions for data analysis. In order to ensure that the technology and knowledge will benefit the entire industry, a new standard for DNA based environmental monitoring will be proposed to the authorities? at the end of the project.
By December 2021, we have collected about 1 500 sediment samples. Of these have 500 been DNA extracted, and 200 DNA sequenced. We have experienced come corona challenges with respect to DNA extraction kits, but we have managed to obtain kits for all the planned samples. A kickoff meeting was held at the facilities of Akvaplan NIVA in Trondheim. We have initialized the planning of an advisory board. We expect to have this in place by the end of 2021.
Based Regional Research Found funded project DigiMiBa we have shown that we can accurately determine the impact of aquaculture on the environment by functional barcoding of bacteria (predicting electron donors and acceptors in metabolism). These approaches will be combined with novel on-site nanopore sequencing strategies developed in the Norwegian Research Council funded project UnveilMe. The monitoring of aquaculture environmental impact currently represents a major bottleneck in developing the aquaculture industry, particularily the lack of rocky bottom analytic .
The aim of this application is to implement an open-source database and prototype on-site test systems so that the aquaculture industry can adapt the functional barcode concept in accurate and efficient monitoring of the environmental impact. Functional e-DNA information will 1) be transmitted to environmental index information in the form of an open-source database , 2) e-DNA indexes be compared to the indexes derived from macroorganism counting, 3) simplified sampling and testing systems that are adaptable to the industry, and 4) suggestions for implementation in Norwegian standards.
To achieve the main aim we will expand the analyses to include 1750 samples along the whole Norwegian coast, with sampling covering the whole year cycle. The industry partners in the project will do the sampling in conection with traditional analyses. The Three industry partners complement each other by covering the Whole coastline. The project will also include prototype methodology (microarray based, second and third generation sequencing) for service providers can utilize for functional classification based on eDNA.
Based on the project results a report will be written for the new revision of the Norwegian standard for environmental monitoring of aquaculture (NS9410) which is expected in 2023. The intention will be the implementing of functional barcoding in the standard.