Targeted and passive environmental DNA approaches outperform established methods for detection of quagga mussels, Dreissena rostriformis bugensis in flowing water

Rosetta C. Blackman, Kar Keun Sean Ling, Lynsey R. Harper, Peter Shum, Bernd Hänfling, Lori Lawson-Handley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The early detection of invasive non-native species (INNS) is important for informing management actions. Established monitoring methods require the collection or observation of specimens, which is unlikely at the beginning of an invasion when densities are likely to be low. Environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis is a highly promising technique for the detection of INNS—particularly during the early stages of an invasion. Here, we compared the use of traditional kick-net sampling with two eDNA approaches (targeted detection using both conventional and quantitative PCR and passive detection via metabarcoding with conserved primers) for detection of quagga mussel, Dreissena rostriformis bugensis, a high priority INNS, along a density gradient on the River Wraysbury, UK. All three molecular tools outperformed traditional sampling in terms of detection. Conventional PCR and qPCR both had 100% detection rate in all samples and outperformed metabarcoding when the target species was at low densities. Additionally, quagga mussel DNA copy number (qPCR) and relative read count (metabarcoding) were significantly influenced by both mussel density and distance from source population, with distance being the most significant predictor. Synthesis and application. All three molecular approaches were more sensitive than traditional kick-net sampling for the detection of the quagga mussel in flowing water, and both qPCR and metabarcoding enabled estimates of relative abundance. Targeted approaches were more sensitive than metabarcoding, but metabarcoding has the advantage of providing information on the wider community and consequently the impacts of INNS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13248-13259
Number of pages12
JournalEcology and Evolution
Volume10
Issue number23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2020

Keywords

  • early detection
  • eDNA
  • invasive non-native species
  • metabarcoding
  • PCR
  • qPCR
  • targeted assay

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