The Coruña biotech AllGenetics has just launched a pioneering service in Ecotoxicology which allows to verify with high reliability which test species are employed by testing labs to assess the environmental impact of potentially dangerously toxic chemical agents. The novelty of the system that AllGenetics offers is about telling the difference between species, which are morphologically hard to classify, explains Dr. Verónica Rojo, project manager of AllGenetics Analytics corporate division: “Ecotoxicology labs carry out trials to determine the effects caused by chemical agents on specific test species, namely seaweeds, fish, daphnias, earthworms orpot worms. To make the tests valid worldwide, international organizations like ISO or OECD set up the standards, which specify the testing protocols to follow up in all labs. Its paramount that all labs use the same test species to carry out specific Ecotoxicology tests”.
The idea of offering a test species verification service for Ecotoxicology companies was developed in 2013 when AllGenetics took part in the coordination of the project ‘EiseniaBarcoding Initiative‘. This ‘DNA barcoding’ project was implemented to identify species ofearthworms from the genus Eisenia employed in Ecotoxicology labs worldwide. The results of this project, which were published in the journal Applied Soil Ecology, prove that not all labs employ the same species of Eisenia to carry out the same tests and that the name Eisenia fetida can actually turn out to be 2 different species. In the wake of this project, test speciesverification is being discussed by the ISO due to a joint initiative of AllGenetics and the German company ECT Oekotoxikologie.
AllGenetics, based on the campus of Elviña at the Universidade da Coruña (University of Coruna in Galicia, Spain), is really the only one company specialized in the verification of test species used in Ecotoxicology.