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High-throughput molecular identification of fish eggs using multiplex suspension bead arrays

Authors

  • LANI U. GLEASON,

    1. Marine Biology Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0202, USA
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  • RONALD S. BURTON

    1. Marine Biology Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0202, USA
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Lani Gleason, Fax: (858) 534 7313; E-mail: lgleason@ucsd.edu

Abstract

The location and abundance of fish eggs provide information concerning the timing and location of spawning activities and can provide fishery-independent estimates of spawning biomass. However, the full value of egg and larval surveys is severely restricted because many species’ eggs and larvae are morphologically similar, making species-level identification difficult. Recent efforts have shown that nearly all species of fish may be identified by mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences (e.g. via ‘DNA barcoding’). By taking advantage of a DNA barcode database, we have developed oligonucleotide probes for 23 marine fish species that produce pelagic eggs commonly found in California waters. Probes were coupled to fluorescent microspheres to create a suspension bead array. Biotin-labelled primers were used to amplify the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) and 16S ribosomal rRNA genes from individual fish eggs. The amplicons were then hybridized to the bead array, and after the addition of a reporter fluorophore, samples were analysed by flow cytometry with Luminex 100 instrumentation. Probes specifically targeted eggs that are abundant and/or from morphologically indistinguishable species pairs. Results showed that the 33 different probes designed for this study accurately identified all samples when PCR was successful. Suspension bead arrays have a number of benefits over other methods of molecular identification; these arrays permit high multiplexing, simple addition of new probes, high throughput and lower cost than DNA sequencing. The increasing availability of DNA barcode data for numerous fish faunas worldwide suggests that bead arrays could be developed and widely used for fish egg, larval and tissue identifications.

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