eDNA-based methods being developed to identify endangered, invasive freshwater species

Posted October 28, 2022

SCCWRP and its partners have begun developing methods for monitoring Southern California endangered and invasive freshwater species by detecting the DNA they shed into their environment, known as environmental DNA (eDNA).

The work, launched in spring 2022, involves selecting primers and probes for droplet digital PCR (polymerase chain reaction) technology that target specific species, including the endangered Arroyo chub and three spine stickleback.

Researchers will validate the eDNA findings with data collected through the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board’s annual stream sampling program.

The work follows the successful completion of a 2020 eDNA pilot study.
eDNA-based monitoring of endangered and invasive species has the potential to provide more cost-effective, insightful information about the presence and abundance of certain aquatic species of interest.

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