Graduate Project


Using environmental DNA to detect the invasive New Zealand mud snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) in freshwater Public Deposited

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  • Environmental DNA (eDNA) detection of aquatic invasive species is at the forefront of aquatic conservation efforts because of decreased costs, increased response times, and increase of sensitivity for intercepting invasions with low density populations. Developments in eDNA technologies have improved detection probabilities for rare, indicator, and invasive species over the past decade. However, standard lab analysis can take days or weeks before results are available and is prohibitive when rapid management decisions are required for mitigation. We investigated the efficacy of a real-time quantitative PCR system for on-site eDNA detections while comparing to traditional sampling methods in search of New Zealand mud snails (Potamopyrgus antipodarum). Six locations in Western Washington were sampled by eDNA and traditional methods that resulted in a 17% increase of positive detections (n = 30) for eDNA methods and strong correlations were observed with eDNA concentrations compared to mud snail individuals (R² = 0.6949, p-value < 0.05). We concluded that rapid on-site eDNA technologies was effective to detect mud snails. This on-site eDNA detection approach could potentially be used to initiate management protocols more rapidly help control invasions.
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  • Pending Publication
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  • 2020-01-10 to 2020-09-11



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