How to create a sample tracking file
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How to create a sample tracking file

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  • PDF

Article summary


The DArT sample tracking file is used to identify and track your samples once they arrive at our lab. This ensures we can accurately and efficiently track, process and manage your order.

It is a “comma separated values” (*.csv) file with the following columns: 

  • PlateID (mandatory)
  • Row. This refers to the row on the well plate (mandatory) 
  • Column. This refers to the column on the well plate  (mandatory) 
  • Organism. This is your chosen organism for analysis (mandatory) 
  • Species. This is the organism species (optional)
  • Genotype. This is the field for you to include your unique sample tracking identifier (mandatory)
  • Tissue. This refers to the tissue/sample type e.g. seed, scat, feathers, etc.  (mandatory)
  • Comments. You can include sample specific comments in this field (optional) 

DArT Sample Tracking File Template(1)

Download the template
Login to your DArT account to create and download a Sample Tracking File template from our online ordering system.

Steps to create a Sample Tracking File

  1. Login to your DArT account and navigate to the 'Create Sample Tracking Template File' page
  2. Search and select your organism. If your organism is not available, please contact us and we can add this to our database.
  3. Select your preferred species (optional) and tissue type e.g. seed, feather, etc.
  4. Optionally, you can include a comment to appear in the Sample Tracking File. Please note this will apply to each row/well, if have you unique comments for each well you can add comments into your sample tracking file manually later
  5. Select the number of plates you are sending to us for analysis. Remember, each plate has 94 wells, which means there are 94 rows in the .csv file
  6. Download your .csv template. 
  7. Once you've downloaded the template, on column F, Genotype, enter your unique sample identifier for each sample. You can add any comments into column H at this stage also
  8. You can now upload your Sample Tracking File to your order. For more information, view the How to order services online article.
Wells G12 and H12 are used for controls and must be be left empty in your physical well plate and in the Sample Tracking File


When creating a.csv Sample Tracking File for your order, please ensure it meets the requirements below. This ensures we can accurately and efficiently manage and track your order.

Commas (,)Commas (,) must only be used to separate fields in the file. Do not use them inside any field (e.g. as a part of genotype name).
Illegal CharactersDo not use semicolons (;), single quote (‘) and double quote (“) anywhere in the file
Mandatory fieldsAll fields must have values except for Species and Comments, which may remain blank
Species NameIf there is uncertainty with the species name, leave the Species Name column blank. Add the Species Name in the Column H, Comments
94 Sample PlatesAs we operate on 94 sample per plate basis the CSV file cannot contain information for wells G12 and H12
Empty wellsDo not include any empty wells in the Sample Tracking File. We cannot accept any alternatives to empty wells - e.g. Blank, N/A, Water, TBA
Name ComplianceNames of organisms and tissues must match our database. If you can’t find the required organisms and tissues, please contact us
Name LengthNames of genotypes can be any string of less than 100 characters (excluding illegal characters)
Unique CombinationsPlateID, Row and Column must be unique within the Sample Tracking File

Matching your well plate and Sample Tracking File

Your well plate and Sample Tracking file need to match e.g. the sample placed in well A1 needs to be identified in your .csv Sample Tracking File. The below image, shows an example. 

Green represents a sample. Wells G12 and H12 must be left empty

In the below image, white circles indicate empty wells. If there are partial plates in the order, they should be assembled in columns as shown by the arrows in this diagram, starting with A1, B1, C1 - H1, then A2, B2, C2 - H2, then A3 and so on as required. All unused wells must be empty, and must not be included in the Sample Tracking File.

Common file errors

Incorrect Tissue Name

Check that your organism and species data is correct.

Too many commas

Commas (,) must only be used to separate fields in the file. Do not use them inside any field (e.g. as a part of genotype name). Check your fields and remove any excessive commas within a field/cell.

Duplicated wells

Each well must be unique and you cannot have a duplicate well reference e.g. 1C. Check your file and remove any duplicates

Illegal Character Usage

Your file may not be accepted if you include semicolons (;), single quotes (‘) and/or double quotes (“) in any field/cell. 

No Genotype Name – Missing Mandatory Field

Once you've downloaded your Sample Tracking File Template, you need to enter your unique identifier for each sample in Column F, genotyping. When you enter this ensure you do not use any illegal characters such as semicolons. 

Genotype Name Too Long

The maximum characters you can include in column F, genotyping, is 100 characters. Check that your descriptions do not exceed this. 

Data Provided For Well H12

You cannot include any data in wells G12/H12. Check your file and remove any data from these fields. 

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