DNA metabarcoding allows the identification of hundreds of specimens at the same time. This holds great potential for the assessment of freshwater and other ecosystems. However, the appropriate homogenisation of bulk samples for DNA extraction is critical, as we have shown in a recent study.
For our future metabarcoding studies using complete benthic kick samples we tested the IKA ULTRA-TURRAX Tube Drive control workstation. This machine grinds the samples in a sealed, sterile tube, using 10 steal beads. This reduces the risk of contamination and homogenises the samples without the need for liquid nitrogen, wich is often difficult to obtain and can be dangerous. The following video shows our first very promising test runs.