Assessing DNA-Based Biomonitoring Applications in the Golden Horn (Istanbul, the Marmara Sea)

Onur Doğan

Aquatic life is of central importance to human well-being and vital for our understanding of ecology. Zooplankton plays a crucial role in ecosystems in hunting and hunter roles as well as acting as habitats for many other animals. Of regions with the highest human impacts, as mentioned here, the Golden Horn, have recently experienced jellyfish blooms or problems with jellies. For zooplankton communities where identification by traditional methods can be detrimental to nature (e.g., trawling), DNA-based biomonitoring methods offer cheap, sustainable and environmentally friendly practices.


The aim of this project is to test the various zooplankton groups with ecological key roles at the points of the Golden Horn (Istanbul) under the pressure of anthropogenic activity by DNA barcoding under the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD, 2000/60/EC) and Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), states that the steps to be taken to achieve good environmental status (GES) are the determination of environmental targets that enable the continuous assessment of the state of seawater and monitoring programs for the continuous evaluation.

It is particularly important to identify ecologically key roles of taxa with short DNA fragments and to complete the shortcomings in reliable barcode libraries. Our study will be one of the first known initiatives using DNA-based methods to measure the impact of aquatic environmental strategies in this region.

Short-Term and Long-Term Goals:

• To provide representations and fill in the gaps of the two most reliable reference databases (the BOLD and NCBI Gene Bank) of the known species in the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the Marine Strategy Framework Directives (MSFD),

• Testing the applicability of DNA-based biological monitoring methods in the Marine Strategy Framework Directives (MFSD) and prioritising the relevant gelatinous species for monitoring in future collaborative programs,

• Focusing on the crucial groups of zooplankton (like gelatinous jellyfish) which have adverse effects on the economic process in water bodies, and aiming to reveal the biological inventory.

• To contact the schools around the Golden Horn to involve children from these schools in the sampling and laboratory stages of our project so that they can try to understand the scientific process.

• To raise local awareness by translating project outputs and the scientific process in many languages. In this context, digital or printed booklets and online website will be prepared.

• To communicate with the surrounding schools and cultural centres and to disseminate our work. Organising an expedition along the Golden Horn and disseminate the process with public by repeating the sampling process of our project in a practical way.

Project Updates

2 Nov 2020

Social media videos featuring the project.

Sterivex filtre ile eDNA örneklemesi

Download Reports