Preservation methods of honey bee-collected pollen are not a source of bias in ITS2 metabarcoding

Andreia Quaresma, Robert Brodschneider, Kristina Gratzer, Alison Gray, Alexander Keller, Ole Kilpinen, José Rufino, Jozef van der Steen, Flemming Vejsnæs, M. Alice Pinto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Pollen metabarcoding is emerging as a powerful tool for ecological research and offers unprecedented scale in citizen science projects for environmental monitoring via honey bees. Biases in metabarcoding can be introduced at any stage of sample processing and preservation is at the forefront of the pipeline. While in metabarcoding studies pollen has been preserved at - 20 °C (FRZ), this is not the best method for citizen scientists. Herein, we compared this method with ethanol (EtOH), silica gel (SG) and room temperature (RT) for preservation of pollen collected from hives in Austria and Denmark. After ~ 4 months of storage, DNAs were extracted with a food kit, and their quality and concentration measured. Most DNA extracts exhibited 260/280 absorbance ratios close to the optimal 1.8, with RT samples from Austria performing slightly worse than FRZ and SG samples (P 
Original languageEnglish
Article number785
Number of pages20
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2021


  • DNA Barcoding, Taxonomic
  • Citizen science
  • Pollen DNA barcoding
  • Animals
  • Honey
  • Bees
  • DNA metabarcoding
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Silica gel preservation
  • Preservation bias
  • Pollen
  • Bias


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