||SoEM: a novel PCR-free biodiversity assessment method based on small-organelles enriched metagenomics
||46. Jo J, Lee HG, Kim KY, Park C
||ALGAE. (2019) 34(1): 57-70
DNA metabarcoding is currently used for large-scale taxonomic identification to understand the community composition in various marine ecosystems. However, before being widely used in this emerging field, this experimental and analytic approach still has several technical challenges to overcome, such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) bias, and lack of well-established metabarcoding markers, a task which is difficult but not impossible to achieve. In this study, we present an adapted PCR-free small-organelles enriched metagenomics (SoEM) method for marine biodiversity assessment. To avoid PCR bias and random artefacts, we extracted target DNA sequences without PCR amplification from marine environmental samples enriched with small organelles including mitochondria and plastids because their genome sequences provide a valuable source of molecular markers for phylogenetic analysis. To experimentally enrich small organelles, we performed subcellular fractionation using modified differential centrifugation for marine environmental DNA samples. To validate our SoEM method, two marine environmental samples from the coastal waters were tested the taxonomic capturing capacity against that of traditional DNA metabarcoding method. Results showed that, regardless of taxonomic levels, at least 3-fold greater numbers of taxa were identified in our SoEM method, compared to those identified by the conventional multi-locus DNA metabarcoding method. The SoEM method is thus effective and accurate for identifying taxonomic diversity and presents a useful alternative approach for evaluating biodiversity in the marine environment.