• Open Access

Rapid Invasive Species Detection by Combining Environmental DNA with Light Transmission Spectroscopy

Authors

  • Scott P. Egan,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA
    2. Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics Initiative, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA
    3. Environmental Change Initiative, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA
    • Correspondence

      Scott Egan, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA. Tel: 615-618-6601; Fax: 574-631-7413. E-mail: scott.p.egan@nd.edu

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  • Matthew A. Barnes,

    1. Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA
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  • Ching-Ting Hwang,

    1. Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA
    2. Department of Physics, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA
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  • Andrew R. Mahon,

    1. Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA
    2. Department of Biology and Institute for Great Lakes Research, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, MI, USA
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  • Jeffery L. Feder,

    1. Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA
    2. Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics Initiative, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA
    3. Environmental Change Initiative, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA
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  • Steven T. Ruggiero,

    1. Environmental Change Initiative, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA
    2. Department of Physics, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA
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  • Carol E. Tanner,

    1. Environmental Change Initiative, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA
    2. Department of Physics, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA
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  • David M. Lodge

    1. Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA
    2. Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics Initiative, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA
    3. Environmental Change Initiative, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA
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  • Editor Dr. Julie Lockwood

Abstract

Invasive aquatic species introductions cause tremendous environmental and economic damage. Conservation and management efforts will benefit from rapid, inexpensive, and accurate on-site methods to detect harmful aquatic species to prevent their introduction and spread. Here, two technologies, environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling and Light Transmission Spectroscopy (LTS), were combined to address this need. Specifically, eDNA filtering and extraction methods were used to isolate DNA from: (1) lake water samples that were seeded with a microscopic fragment of five high-risk invasive species and (2) untreated samples from lakes infested with the invasive zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, followed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification. LTS was then used to detect size shifts resulting from hybridization of PCR products with nanobeads covered with species-specific oligonucleotide probes. The results demonstrate that coupling eDNA sampling with LTS species detection can provide a sensitive and real-time solution for screening real-world water samples for invasive species.

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