DNA-based identification for routine aquatic bioassessment

DNA-based identification for routine aquatic bioassessment

Project Summary

Current freshwater bioassessment relies on coarse resolution invertebrate data as indicators of ecological condition, but costs of morphological identification are high and prone to errors. Using molecular techniques we will compile an invertebrate barcode library, which is a prerequisite to accurate, high throughput, low cost molecular identification methods. We will test the method detection performance by extracting and amplifying invertebrate DNA from unsorted invertebrate samples and comparing them to results from samples of known species composition and the traditional style of analysis. DNA-based identification has great potential to improve existing bioassessment practice for assessing risks to aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity