Aquatic Species Sampling, Simplified
determining the occurrence and relative abundance of small, rare, or difficult to
identify ("cryptic") aquatic organisms has required reliance on visual techniques.
These techniques typically require the use of a dissecting microscope and the painstaking
labor of taxonomic experts in a process that is slow and expensive. Early genetic tools
were slow to be adopted and led to only incremental improvements. However, the
sophistication and accuracy of these tools has improved dramatically in the last decade.
One of the most recent and powerful tools is quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction
(qPCR). It enables the rapid detection of even extremely small quantities of DNA,
and can be used in existing monitoring programs to replace or complement
visual identification of species.
division of Cramer Fish Sciences, uses unique genetic markers or "barcodes"
and qPCR to detect cryptic aquatic species in a process that is accurate,
rapid, sensitive, quantitative,
efficient, and cost-effective.
Genidaqs offers our clients a number of services which use barcodes and qPCR for rapid
identification of aquatic species:
- Stomach content analysis of predatory fish
- Detection of Delta smelt and Wakasagi smelt
- Detection of invasive Zebra and Quagga mussels
- Detection of zooplankton, amphipods, worms, cnidarians, and the clam Corbicula
for a complete list of species)
- Detection of Amphibian Chytrid fungus, batrachochytrium-dendrobatidis, the causative agent of the amphibian disease Chytridiomycosis
- Design of qPCR assays to assess the occurrence and relative abundance of target organisms
- Development of additional DNA barcodes for species of interest