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High Efficiency Microbial DNA Extraction Method for Avian Feces and Preen Oil
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  • Austin Russell,
  • Alex Van Huynh,
  • Margaret Kenna,
  • Amber Rice
Austin Russell
Lehigh University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Alex Van Huynh
Desales University
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Margaret Kenna
Lehigh University
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Amber Rice
Lehigh University
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As sequencing technology continues to rapidly improve, studies investigating the microbial communities of host organisms (i.e., microbiomes) are becoming not only more popular but also more financially accessible. Across many taxa, microbiomes can have important impacts on organismal health and fitness. To evaluate the microbial community composition of a particular microbiome, microbial DNA must be successfully extracted. Fecal samples are often easy to collect and are a good source of gut microbial DNA. However, in birds and reptiles, microbial DNA extractions from fecal matter have proven to be difficult due to high concentrations of uric acid, an inhibitor of DNA extractions. Here, we present a new microbial DNA extraction method that is highly effective for avian species and displays higher efficiency and consistency than other commonly used methodologies. Further, our method is also effective in extracting microbial DNA from oils collected from the avian preen gland. Preen oil chemicals are important for many aspects of avian life, and the biosynthesis of these chemicals is dependent on the preen gland microbial community. We expect our method will facilitate microbial DNA extractions from multiple avian microbiome reservoirs, which have previously proved difficult and expensive. Our method therefore increases the feasibility of future studies of avian host microbiomes.
29 Sep 2023Submitted to Molecular Ecology Resources
03 Oct 2023Assigned to Editor
03 Oct 2023Submission Checks Completed
03 Oct 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
09 Oct 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned