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  1. Taberlet et al. (2012) in Molecular Ecology, defined eDNA as “DNA that can be extracted from environmental samples (such as soil, water or air), without first isolating any target organisms”.

  2. Some thoughts from the GeDWG group meeting 7 Oct, 2020.

    Generalization of the term eDNA is better than making it more exclusive. 

    The distinction of are you targeting a specific individual versus analyzing a sample that may contain an individual or numerous individuals is important and appropriate. 

    Disagrees that microbial eDNA is really “eDNA”. When dealing with microbes the degradation of eDNA in your “eDNA” sample will be different, because you have whole organisms contained as opposed to material that has been shed from the organism. 

    Collecting scat and plankton tow filtering is biological sampling, and perhaps shouldn’t be defined as eDNA, as you’re targeting the individual organisms (regardless of size). However, if you collect a water or soil sample and process to isolate genetic material, that’s eDNA, as you have sampled the environmental medium, not attempted to collect a specific biological sample.