We provide eDNA sampling kits that can accurately detect the presence of Great Crested Newts in a pond water environment by extracting and analysing DNA. Once your samples are received at our lab, we can analyse them and provide you with conclusive results within 5 working days. We also offer a 'priority 2 working day service' for your most urgent projects.

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How much?

Our great crested newt eDNA sampling kits are £200. Courier charges are £40, which handles up to 6 kits per shipment, both ways. Prices exclude VAT.

How Fast?

Our standard turnaround is 5-working days guaranteed. We also have an upgraded service that guarantees your eDNA results in 2 working days! (Terms apply).

Why Applied Genomics?

Our lab has been custom-built to deliver GCN eDNA analysis, which means everything about our business is set up for accuracy and speed of delivery.

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Call us on: 01803 611 818

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Using our GCN eDNA kits, pond water sampling may be undertaken in a single visit to the target pond, between 15th April and 30th June. Important: Water samples must be collected by a licensed GCN surveyor following the methods described in the DEFRA WC1067 Technical Report. Get in touch with us if you'd like more information about this.

Our kits have been assembled in accordance with the DEFRA WC1067 Guidance. They contain everything that is required for field sampling of great crested newt (Triturus cristatus) environmental DNA from pond water samples.

When your samples are returned to Applied Genomics' laboratory (we are at the Brixham Envrironmental Laboratory in Brixham, Devon), using our pre-paid, overnight courier service, they will be analysed in strict accordance with the laboratory protocols described in the DEFRA WC1067 Guidance.

  • Our laboratory has been purpose-built for environmental DNA applications;
  • Our field and laboratory management systems ensure proper sample handling procedures are followed;
  • We guarantee your results will be returned to you 5 working days after they are received at our laboratory;
  • Subject to availability, we can return results within 2 working days.

More about occupancy assessment

Analysing DNA extracted from environmental samples (i.e. from water, soil, sediment, faeces and other sources) we can detect the presence of species in the environment. The methods we apply are sufficiently sensitive that they are useful for the detection of inconspicuous, rare or temporarily absent target species.

However, detection is only part of the story. Depending on how, when and where environmental samples were collected, environmental DNA may have persisted in the environment for a very wide range of time (i.e. from hours to many years).

Combining the sensitivity of ecogenomics analysis with our proprietary mathematical models, we are able to determine the likelihood of occupancy of rare or cryptic species detected in the environment, providing a more rigorous assessment of habitat use for the target species.

Our occupancy assessment is useful for....

  • Detection and occupancy estimation of threatened, protected or invasive species
  • Biosecurity
  • Spatial analysis of species distributions


What is a GCN eDNA survey?

Following a DEFRA-funded research project (Biggs et al, 2014), Natural England have approved the use of an environmental DNA analysis protocol for detection of the Great Crested Newt (GCN) using pond water samples.

Often referred to as an eDNA survey, environmental DNA is genetic material that is released by organisms living in their environment. Sources of genetic material may include, faeces, urine, skin cells, mucous, gametes. The DNA in these sources will degrade over time but can persist in the environment for long enough that we can detect the presence of the organism.

In pond water samples, environmental DNA may persist for 7 to 21 days. Great Crested Newt may be detected from pond water samples, particularly during the newt breeding season, between the 15th April and 30th June, when it is expected the concentrations of genetic material in pond water samples will be optimal for this test.

Principal advantages of eDNA surveys include:

  • Greater detection rate
  • A DEFRA research project (WC0167) found that using environmental DNA from pond samples detected newts 99% of the time, compared to using a combination of conventional survey techniques, which returned a 95% detection rate.
  • Requires a single visit
  • Detecting newts using environmental DNA only requires a single visit to each pond, compared to conventional surveys methods which can require many repeat visits to achieve a similar result.

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Using genomic material recovered from environmental samples, we are able to provide robust and defensible biodiversity assessments. Integrating these results with environmental physicochemical assessments we provide a deeper, more meaningful understanding of biodiversity and its influences.

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Determining pathways for dispersal is crucial for effective population management. We use population genomics analyses to identify gene flow between habitats. Quantifying connectivity is useful in the planning, monitoring and assessment of species management programmes, developing targeted mitigation strategies and ensuring that management actions achieve their intended outcomes.

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Just as every project presents its own challenges for environmental management, we design our solutions to fit your project goals and support your intended outcomes. Contact us to see what solutions we can develop for you.

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