Seunghyun Lee1,2,3, Jinbae Seung2,3, Yunho Yang3,4, Michael Orr1,5,6, Minhyeuk Lee2,7, Jun-Hyung Tak3,4, Alfried P. Vogler8,9, Ming Bai1, Seunghwan Lee2,3
1Key Laboratory of Zoological Systematics and Evolution, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China;
2Insect Biosystematics Laboratory, Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea;
3Research Institute of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea;
4Insect Pest Chemical Control Laboratory, Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea;
5International College, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China;
6Entomologie, Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany;
7National Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Wanju, Republic of Korea;
8Department of Life Sciences, Natural History Museum, London, UK
9Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, Ascot, UK
Correspondence : Ming Bai, Seunghwan Lee
1. Sampling is one of the most important and fundamental processes in field biology. Among many sampling methods in entomology, window traps have long been considered one of the most effective and standardized methods. Unfortunately, the DNA quality of samples collected by window traps is typically low due to incursion by water, mainly via rainfall. Water cannot be avoided in long-term surveys, even with a roof, due to wind and condensation. As we move into the genomics era, this shortfall in DNA quality has become problematic for molecular biomonitoring, and solutions are urgently needed.
2. In this study, we developed the Water-Exclusion Trap (WET), a 3D printable long-term storable bottom collector for window or pitfall traps. The collection medium in WETs does not dilute because water is excluded and evaporation is limited, maximizing DNA preservation.
3. Our field tests show that the WET outperforms conventional traps in preserving DNA quality. Insect samples preserved in WETs in the field had significantly higher PCR success rates and DNA Integrity Numbers compared to conventional traps.
4. The WET addresses a critical challenge in the use of window traps, DNA degradation caused by water intrusion, and represents a significant advancement in fieldwork for genomic research in entomology. We provide the 3D printing template of the WET, enabling immediate, free use for all. Furthermore, it can be easily customized for different environments and purposes, and can be adapted to a variety of other traps, including pitfall traps, funnel traps and more.