How much does Species ID Service cost?

Pricing is influenced by a number of variables, including:

  • taxonomic focus (e.g. animal vs. plant)
  • taxonomic heterogeneity (e.g. lot of fish fillets vs. environmental impact assessment)
  • sample number, volume discounts available
  • sample condition (e.g. fresh/frozen vs. processed)
  • sample preparation (e.g. whole fish fillet vs. tissue plug)
  • turn-around-time (standard vs. expedited)

We are dedicated to creating value for our customers. Please contact us for a quote that is designed with your project needs in mind.

Is Species ID Service available for all species?

We are currently offering Species ID Service for animals & plants. DNA Barcoding is modernizing the way that we index biodiversity one block of life at a time. While theoretically suitable for all multicellular eukaryotic life, proof-of-principle research and DNA libraries for animal and plant kingdoms have matured to the point that an accurate service can be delivered. Research and development for fungal and protist kingdoms is underway.

What do I need to send for Species ID Service?

DNA is the most definitive way to identify species. Depending on the condition, a piece of tissue that is no larger than the size of a grain of rice will yield enough DNA for Species ID Service.

Can I send tissue samples that are larger than a grain of rice?

Yes. Our facility is well equipped for sub-sampling. Our collections facility was designed to operate under the same guidelines as museums and other specimen repositories. Our staff are well trained in specimen handling and non-invasive sampling techniques. Our forensics department compliments these abilities with experience in obtaining DNA from wildlife-derived products, such as processed foods (e.g. frozen hamburger paddies) and garments (e.g. down-filled vests).

How do I sub-sample tissues myself?

The most important aspect of effective sub-sampling is cleanliness. It is important to avoid cross-contamination of DNA between samples by using plastic gloves, a clean working surface and sterilised tools. Anything that touches one sample (glove, surface, tool) must be cleaned before moving on to the next sample. Treatment with bleach followed by thorough rinsing with water is an effective way to prevent cross-contamination between samples.

Is fresh tissue a requirement for Species ID Service?

No. We accept samples of all conditions. Samples which have undergone decomposition or have been exposed to extreme conditions during processing (e.g. cooking, tanning) can complicate the process of recovering DNA and may be subject to additional charges. Our forensics department is capable of recovering DNA from a variety of tissue types and conditions.

What is the best way to send samples for Species ID Service?

Proper preservation is the key to ensuring cost-effectiveness and fast-turn-around time. The simplest method is to freeze tissue samples for expedited shipping within insulated containers (e.g. Styrofoam) containing dry ice or freezer packs. Liquid preservatives, such as 95% ethanol, are also appropriate but may complicate the shipping process. Samples stored in 95% ethanol can be decanted prior to expedited shipping to avoid shipping dangerous/flammable goods.

What is the expected turn-around-time for Species ID Service?

Turn-around-time will depend on the size of the order and the condition of the samples. Standard turn-around-time is 10 business days. Expedited service is available with results in as little as 3 business days. Samples that have undergone some form of natural decomposition or processing may be subject to slower turn-around-times. Please contact us to find out what timeline is suitable for your project.

How do I view my results?

Results are available online and/or in a formal report. Included in the cost of Species ID Service is an account with BOLDSYSTEMS, a powerful software package for project management and viewing your results in real time. Formal reports are also available.

Is evidence obtained from Species ID Service admissible in the court of law?

Yes, when the appropriate steps are taken to ensure compliance. There have been individual cases involving the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service where DNA Barcoding has been used as evidence.  The FDA has also adopted DNA Barcoding as their legal standard for detecting market substitution and food adulteration of seafood. Our forensic department was designed using guidelines implemented in human criminal forensic casework and accurately documents continuity and chain of custody, including proper accreditation parameters. Expert testimony is available.