Perfect GCN eDNA proficiency test score for the fourth year running 2021

Published: 3rd March 2021

Perfect GCN eDNA proficiency test score for the fourth year running 2021
At NatureMetrics we’re celebrating our fourth year of perfect scores in GCN proficiency testing making us a partner of choice for anyone wanting to work with a high-quality experienced team. This year, only six companies took part in proficiency testing and are eligible to sell GCN eDNA tests in 2021, meaning NatureMetrics are preparing to deliver another high capacity GCN season.
GCN proficiency test results explained

The blind proficiency test is performed annually, and each company’s own GCN kits and workflows are used to test 10 eDNA samples (A – J).

This year, the samples comprised:

  • 1 medium-level GCN sample (J)

  • 4 low-level GCN samples (A, C, D, G)

  • 1 inhibited sample (F)

  • 3 negative samples (B, E, H)

GCN Proficiency - Test Results

Med. = Medium-level GCN eDNA; Low = Low-level GCN eDNA; Inh. = Inhibited and inconclusive; Neg. = Negative.

What do these results mean?

Taking a closer look at what each result means can help our customers to understand more about what to expect from their GCN eDNA results.

GCN eDNA presence indicates that GCN eDNA (in high, medium, or low concentrations) has been detected using our qPCR workflow. We go above and beyond to provide robust GCN data and can confidently report positive GCN eDNA results using our workflows.

GCN eDNA absence indicates that there is a lack of GCN eDNA in your sample, and we can confidently report this as supported by our 100% proficiency results in the blind test, where we correctly identified all negative samples.

Inhibited or inconclusive samples – Results can be inconclusive for two reasons – the eDNA is degraded or the sample is inhibited. The risk of degradation is limited by the ethanol in the kits, which are very robust when they are corrected stored. Inhibition is typically caused by chemicals present in the samples that inhibit the functioning of the test (e.g. dead plant matter, soil, etc.). When we detect inhibition, we perform DNA dilutions following the standard Natural England protocol to try and resolve this issue, but sometimes this is not enough to completely remove those inhibitors and therefore we cannot provide you with a conclusive GCN result. To find out more about how to take a high-quality sample, without issues of inhibition, tune into our ‘how to’ webinar on GCN eDNA, coming soon!

A high quality GCN experience with NatureMetrics

At NatureMetrics we offer an end-to-end service that promises high quality and ease of use. During GCN season, you can place and track your GCN orders online with your my.naturemetrics account. Orders placed before 12 pm will be delivered to you the next working day. We offer full logistics support and have a 2, 5 and 10 day turnaround services to suit the needs of your project.  Our NatureMetrics sampling app allows your field team to conveniently and rapidly collect your data in the field. For accounts, ordering & price enquiries, including applying bulk discounts to your orders, please contact our team at

To learn more about how eDNA can help you survey biodiversity well beyond GCN contact us on

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