Having eDNA research performed by Sylphium ensures that reliable results are available to your agency or company without necessary knowledge of molecular ecological techniques. Sampling is performed by you and the samples obtained are sent to Sylphium’s laboratory. Sylphium’s analyses are validated, published and performed according to strict rules established using NPR 7394 (General principles in quality assurance of molecular biology research for microorganisms and environmental DNA). A complete list of target species from which to choose for research is here.

Sylphium has developed a proprietary sampling system that enables error-free and reliable sampling. The basis of this sampling system are eDNA Dual filter capsules. Special sampling materials are also available for soil and droppings samples. All capsules and materials also meet the requirements in NPR 7394.

Roadmap eDNA research

Steps:Discription:Performed by:
1Choice of eDNA research typeClient (in consultation with Sylphium)
2Sampling strategyClient (in consultation with Sylphium)
4Send to labClient
6Preparation of analysis reportSylphium
7Final reportClient

All the steps are explained in more detail below.

Choice type of DNA testing

Today, there are many ways to use DNA techniques to detect species quickly, reliably and sensitively. Which type of investigation is needed to answer a particular question is often not immediately clear. The table below gives an overview of which type of investigation best suits the question.

Species specificSoort identificatieSoortenlijst opstellen
DiscriptionDetecting a particular species very sensitively quantitatively or qualitatively.Identify species based on material from one individual.Semi-quantitatively generate a species list of most common species in a given group.
Suitable forFish, amphibians, mammals, reptiles, invertebrates, pathogens, plants, bacteria,Fish, amphibians, mammals, reptiles and larger invertebrates.Fish, bacteria and eukaryotes
Sample typeWater, soil, tissue residues and faecesTissue residues and faecesWater, soil and excrement
Lead time
Within 10 working days (urgent possible)10 working day3 months (faster often possible)

Sampling strategy

Sylphium’s eDNA analysis have the highest achievable sensitivity (1 molecule per analysis). Therefore, sampling has the greatest impact on the method’s hit probability.

For maximum hit probability, without cross-contamination with eDNA between samples and proper sample registration, the eDNA sampling rules should be observed. See section sampling and the manual of the sampling set.


Water, faeces and soil can be sampled to demonstrate specific target species or to determine species composition. Sylphium molecular ecology has developed sample sets for different types of samples. After sampling, samples are stored in a special buffer and can be kept at room temperature. See sampling section for more information.


The analysis consists of 3 parts. The first part is eDNA extraction from the sample.
Clean eDNA is required for reliable eDNA testing. Sylphium has developed a special eDNA extraction method for this purpose. The second part is the quality control of the isolated eDNA. This is done with control DNA which is added to the preservation buffer of the sample set. This control DNA can be used to check for quality of preservation, eDNA extraction efficiency and the presence of analysis-distorting substances in the eDNA. The final component is the actual analysis on the target species(s). Sylphium offers a wide range of eDNA-based ecological tests. These tests are offered as kits and as a service. View the complete list here. All tests are validated according to strict rules established using NPR9373 to ensure the quality of all DNA analyses and kits developed and marketed by Sylphium.


The results are delivered in a clear report, which also includes all checks and validations of the analysis method.