Knowledge in

Using environmental DNA
to advance ecological

What We Do

DNA Sequencing

Using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) DNA in samples is PCR-amplified and sequenced using the latest sequencing and bioinformatic techniques. The sequences are compared to proprietary and public databases to generate a report on the relative abundances of species in your sample. Quantitative PCR is used in applications requiring determination of absolute abundance of individual taxa.

Pollen sequencing

The pollen of plants contains chloroplast DNA that can be sequenced. We are able to quantify the assemblages of pollen in air samples, dust, honey, or sediments of up to a few thousand years old.

Diet Reconstruction

We can quantitatively reconstruct the diet of herbivores, omnivores, and certain carnivores. We can reconstruct what plants, phytoplankton, fungi, invertebrates, or vertebrates animals have eaten, and are rapidly expanding our capabilities to other organisms.

Microbial Assemblages

From bacteria to fungi to archaea in anything from soils to dust to water, we can quantify the relative abundance of microbial assemblages. Past work has included quantifying disease in plant production systems, quantifying mold taxa in homes, and bacterial assemblages in and on animals.

Aquatic Environmental DNA

The abundances of organisms in water can be expensive and time-consuming to quantify. Using NGS and qPCR, we can quantify the relative and absolute abundance of taxa ranging from microbes to phytoplankton to fish in water.


We provide services to over a hundred academic researchers, state and federal agencies, conservation organizations, commercial enterprises, and hospitals. Our application scientists are available to consult on individual projects, tailor sampling and analysis protocols, and help develop new techniques. Contact us to discuss your projects.

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One of Jonah’s advances in helping clients with metabarcoding was to develop a closed reference database for higher plants to aid in long-term continuity of data. In essence, we permanently assign a consensus sequence to a unique OTU ID. That way, we have continuity over time in what species is/are represented by a particular OTU.… Read More

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On the diet side, we have reconstructed diets for a number of birds for clients. We’ve looked at what insects and plants prairie chickens eat. We’ve quantified the plants that geese in Alaska eat. We’ve looked at the insects and other invertebrates that shorebirds and songbirds eat. We had never tried to sequence the diet… Read More

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A short note here to share our thinking around the office and lab… Here, at Jonah Ventures we’ve spent a fair amount of resources working to understand how to apply next generation sequencing technology to aquatic environmental DNA. Speaking non-technically for now, if someone wants to assess whether an aquatic ecosystem is impaired, they can… Read More

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We were running a pilot project the other day that required us to take 20 aquatic eDNA samples from the same site. The goal of the project is to look at species accumulation curves as we sample more and more water. The project requires pushing water through our filters again and again. They say necessity… Read More

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We just finished analyzing ~100 stream eDNA samples for Nebraska DEQ. We ran these samples with 12S primers that amplify vertebrate DNA. The goal of the project was to look for DNA that might be helpful in determining the sources of fecal coliform bacteria in the water. This part was pretty successful, but what was… Read More

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The Potomac River starts small, at a place called Fairfax Stone. 300 miles later–as it passes by Washington DC and enters the Chesapeake Bay estuary, it’s very large. Along the way the Potomac does more than pick up water. It picks up nutrients from the surrounding lands and the species that inhabit its waters and… Read More

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