Earthworm community composition of a grassland with copper soil pollution

Activity: Talk or presentationLecture and oral contribution

See relations at Aarhus University

Pedro Daniel Geadas Farias - Lecturer

Susana Santos - Lecturer

Paul Henning Krogh - Lecturer

Niels Bohse Hendriksen - Lecturer

Anne Winding - Lecturer

Martin Mørk Larsen - Lecturer

Tanja Begovic - Lecturer

Jiayi Qin - Lecturer

Presentation of the outcome of a collaboration between the eDNA Center at Aarhus University and a KEYSOM Short Term Scientific Mission (STSM) visiting scientist

The objective of the STSM was to the perform metabarcoding to evaluate soil biodiversity of samples with relevance to the KEYSOM project. The work involved PCR of soil DNA and earthworm DNA while employing primers for minibarcodes of main soil taxons, indexing libraries for the Illumina MiSeq NGS platform and bioinformatics.
The methodological approach was designed to answer specific questions:
Does environmental DNA reveals adaption of earthworms to high concentrations of soil copper contamination?
Are the effects of anthropogenic soil copper contamination on earthworm community detecable by metabarcoding?
The use of metabarcoding to evaluate soil biodiversity is highly dependent on the genetic marker and the available taxonomic reference databases associated with the marker. Identification of the focus organisms, earthworms (Haplotaxidae ), was far more accurate using the specific marker previously designed by Bienert et al. (2012) and Pansu et al. (2015) than the general eukaryotic 18S V4 region primers Mahé et al. (2014). Nevertheless, the use of the more common COI reference marker bypassed the necessity to build a specific database and therefore was the most successful marker choice.
The biodiversity can be impacted by contamination in soils as it is observed in the taxonomic assignment of amplicons from DNA extracts of a highly copper contaminated soil, that have specific taxonx with increased abundance compared to the control, i.e. the single cell eukaryotes: Filosa-Granofilosea and Spirotrichea.
18 Jan 2017


Degree of recognitionNational event


  • eDNA, Earthworms, metabarcoding, MiSeq, Bioinformatics, Soil fauna

ID: 108276133