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Tuesday, January 26 • 10:20am - 10:40am
Detecting Aquatic Invasive Species Among Transported Fish Using A LAMP Assay and a Portable Instrument

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AUTHORS: Christopher M. Merkes, U.S. Geological Survey; Craig A. Jackson, U.S. Geological Survey; and Jon J. Amberg, U.S. Geological Survey

ABSTRACT: Aquatic invasive species can cause significant environmental and economic damage to ecosystems. Preventing their spread is imperative to successful integrated pest management efforts. Harvesting and transporting baitfish is one potential pathway invasive fishes can spread. Because shipments of baitfish are often transported great distances from where they were collected, there is a risk of transporting non-indigenous aquatic species into new areas. Baitfish are typically small minnow species of the family Cyprinidae and are transported by the thousands. It is virtually impossible to visually detect and completely remove similarly sized individuals of unwanted species from the hauling tanks. Environmental DNA detection techniques can be used to screen for the presence of unwanted species in the transport tanks. The most current eDNA methods require specialized laboratories and equipment and lack the efficiency to be feasible for this application. In partnership with private industry, we have developed a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay that can be used with a portable instrument to irrefutably detect environmental DNA of bigheaded carps (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix and H. nobilis) in water. The process has been simplified so that individuals without previous experience in genetics or molecular laboratory techniques can perform the test with minimal training and have accurate results within an hour. This rapid eDNA-based detection technology will provide resource managers and fish haulers near real-time data that will greatly reduce the risk of spreading aquatic invasive species through the transport of baitfish.

Tuesday January 26, 2016 10:20am - 10:40am EST