New steps taken to improve the standards of molecular methods for water analysis

Press release 2019-06-05 at 14:50
© Riku Lumiaro

Powerful novel DNA-based methods are being developed to assess biodiversity and the ecological status of water bodies, yet little consensus about method standardisation exists. In order to tackle this issue the European Standardisation Committee (CEN) has set up a new working group. Its duty is to advance the standardization of molecular methods for routine use in water analysis.

“Method standardization plays a big part in obtaining international acceptance and in speeding up the routine use of new methods. This is the first group on this topic in Europe and as far as we know also in the whole world” says director Kristian Meissner from the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE, the new chairperson of the working group. “Our first goal is to standardize water sampling for capturing of macrobial environmental DNA in aquatic environments.”

Establishing a new working group under CEN takes usually a long time and requires the votes of at least five CEN member countries. The creation of the new group was approved with a clear majority of 14 votes. This demonstrates the urgency for the need of creating a permanent platform through which standards for novel molecular methods can be advanced.

“Our work will be dependent on the inputs of experts and companies from European countries operating in this field. While I am confident that we will see a lot of new proposals for standards, we cannot do without their help. If you are an expert interested in working on standards in this working group, you should definitely contact your national standard writing body”, says Meissner.

The Finnish Environment Institute SYKE will chair the new working group for DNA and environmental DNA method standardization for the following six years. SYKE has long experience in this field and represents the Finnish standards writing body SFS in the field of environmental standardization. Kristian Meissner was involved with water analysis standardization for almost ten years before becoming chair of the new working group “DNA and eDNA methods”.

The working group held its first official meeting in Belgrade in May 2019.


Director Kristian Meissner

More information

Director Kristian Meissner,
Programme for Environmental Information
Finnish Environment Institute SYKE
Phone: +358 295 251 422

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