Por Mauro Rebelo

A new ecology

P3_I4 sequenciamento

P3 I4 B sequenciamento

Reduced sampling costs

The extremely small size of DNA contributes to its homogenization and presence in much smaller sample volumes than those traditionally used: between 1 and 10 g instead of kg. DNA is also present adhered to suspended particulate matter or adhered to artificial substrates, as well as dissolved in the water itself. These matrices allow us to imagine sampling strategies that are very different from those used today, with a great reduction in cost and an increase in representativeness, creating the opportunity for a radical change in the business model of companies that provide services to industry.

Big data on ecological indicators

The robustness of the metagenomics methodology lies in the large volume of data analyzed. In the proof of concept carried out in the Campos basin in 2014, more than 1 million operational taxonomic units were identified. DNA sequencing technologies are allowing biology to enter the era of big data and the automation of the analysis process allows these results to reach decision-makers practically in real time.

Retrospective assessment of biodiversity

As DNA is highly conserved, the methodology would also allow for the retroactive assessment of biodiversity, with extraction in water or frozen sediments preserved in alcohol or formaldehyde in laboratories and museums.