Collaborative environmental DNA sampling from petal surfaces of flowering cherry Cerasus × yedoensis ‘Somei-yoshino’ across the Japanese archipelago
Ohta T, Kawashima T, Shinozaki NO, Dobashi A, Hiraoka S, Hoshino T, Kanno K, Kataoka T, Kawashima S, Matsui M, Nemoto W, Nishijima S, Suganuma N, Suzuki H, Taguchi Y, Takenaka Y, Tanigawa Y, Tsuneyoshi M, Yoshitake K, Sato Y, Yamashita R, Arakawa K, Iwasaki W
Journal of Plant Research 2018, Epub ahead of print. DOI:10.1007/s10265-018-1017-x
A collaborative research project “The Ohanami project” was launched in 2015 by the organizers of the conference of high-throughput sequencing technologies, the NGS Field 4th meeting. The project aimed to collect environmental DNA (eDNA) from petal surfaces of flowering cherry Cerasus × yedoensis ‘Somei-yoshino’ to analyze the origins of eDNA found on the plants. Somei-yoshino is a cultivar widely cultivated across the Japanese archipelago, and the trees are all clones of a single tree since it is propagated through grafting and self-incompatible. Over 150 collaborators joined the sampling campaign of the project to collect eDNA samples from 577 locations (Fig. 1). The project team performed 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing method to analyze the origins of eDNA. As a result of DNA sequencing, we found that the DNA sequences of common plants including the one like Japanese Ceder are found on the petal surfaces along with the DNA of flowering cherry itself. This project is the first project that revealed the existence of eDNA on petal surfaces with many samples from a broad geographical range. The project also showed that a crowd-sourcing approach is applicable on DNA sampling from a wide range of locations in a short term.
Fig. 1: DNA sampling from petal surfaces of flowering cherry. Collaborators used the swab kit to collect environmental DNA from the petal surfaces.