World Aquaculture Society Meetings

Add To Calendar 20/02/2017 14:15:0020/02/2017 14:35:00America/ChicagoAquaculture America 2017A PORTABLE DNA TEST TO RAPIDLY DETECT INVASIVE SPECIES IN TRANSPORTED FISH Room 11The World Aquaculture Societyjohnc@was.orgfalseanrl65yqlzh3g1q0dme13067DD/MM/YYYY


Christopher M. Merkes*, Craig A. Jackson, Richard A. Erickson, Jon J. Amberg
U.S. Geological Survey
Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
2630 Fanta Reed Road
La Crosse, WI 54603

Preventing the spread of invasive species is paramount to sustaining healthy ecosystems. Once established, the cost and difficulty managing invasive species rises exponentially through time. The impacts of invading species are not only detrimental to ecosystems, but also can be financially devastating to industries, agriculture, aquaculture, and outdoor recreational activities. Shipments of live fish can be transported great distances from where they were harvested, and thus pose a risk of carrying invasive species into new areas. There is increasing awareness of this risk particularly with baitfish (typically small minnow species of the family Cyprinidae) that are transported by the thousands.  In this circumstance, there is a risk for just a few similarly sized invasive fishes to be included, and it is nearly impossible to visually detect and completely remove unwanted species from the hauling tanks.

To aid in detecting invasive fish hitchhikers, we partnered with private industry to develop a portable DNA test kit that can rapidly detect DNA of Bighead Carp and Silver Carp in a water sample on-site in under one hour.  The test kit uses loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP), and the sample collection and analysis process has been simplified so that individuals without previous experience in genetics or molecular laboratory techniques can get similar results as expert users with minimal training. Test kits for detecting Bighead Carp and Silver Carp are commercially available, and additional tests for other invasive species or diseases are currently in development. The use of this technology to screen live fish in transport should greatly reduce the risk of spreading invasive species and disease through this pathway.

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