Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Free Webinar: Environmental DNA (eDNA): An early detection surveillance tool for invasive Bighead and Silver Carp

Advance Topics in Conservation Genetics, a webinar series will present "Environmental DNA (eDNA): An early detection surveillance tool for invasive Bighead and Silver Carp" on Wednesday, February 19. 

The webinar will take place from 2-3 pm (eastern time), presented by Emy Monroe, Geneticists
for USFWS Region 3, La Crosse Fish Health Center.

Environmental DNA (eDNA) has been used as an early detection tool for aquatic invasive species. eDNA is genetic material shed by living or dead organisms into the environment in urine, feces, mucous, or sloughed cells and can be detected by polymerase chain reaction which targets specific species DNA in environmental samples. Monitoring efforts with eDNA for Bighead and Silver Carp in the Chicago Area Waterway (CWS) were initiated in 2009 by the University of Notre Dame, and then continued by the US Corps of Engineers from 2010 to 2012. Along with eDNA in 2010, complementary field sampling with traditional gears was added to the monitoring program with interagency cooperation among the FWS and Illinois Department of Natural Resources. In 2013, the FWS assumed responsibility for both eDNA and traditional monitoring in the CAWS and also expanded eDNA monitoring to the Great Lakes, and Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. The current FWS Asian carp eDNA monitoring program employs rigorous quality control measures outlined in the Quality Assurance Project Protocol (QAPP), which has been peer reviewed by three external groups. However, additional research to refine and improve eDNA techniques is currently ongoing in a multi-agency cooperative eDNA calibration study (ECALS). Results from ECALS are validated in multi-laboratories and then incorporated annually into the QAPP to increase confidence in the interpretation of eDNA results as well as improve efficiency and reduce costs.


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