Abstract – Bioinformatics for Environomics

Environmental and museum samples, such as those in repositories like The National Research Collections Australia, pose a number of challenges to molecular biology research as methods of preservation and sample collection were, by and large, not undertaken with DNA extraction and analysis in mind.

This Environomics project aimed to work closely with the other projects within the Environomics FSP to address the many bioinformatics challenges associated with high throughput sequencing of environmental and museum samples. This work included the development of the new data analytics tools, methodology and models required to accelerate and improve discovery and to enable life science researchers to unlock the genomic potential within the Collections.

Specific activities included the assembly and annotation of low coverage genomes in a high throughput environment from samples up to 150 years old to recover high copy number genetic elements and the development of an analytics framework for DNA sequences from formalin preserved specimens. With an upsurge in interest in environmental DNA (eDNA) as a biodiversity monitoring tool, robust analytic approaches and methods are required for its broad adoption and work in this project aimed to understand the nature of variation in producing and interpreting results that influence outcomes.

If you would like more information about this research, contact Dr Annette McGrath.