New eDNA surveillance for multiple high risk invasive aquatic species
Invasive aquatic species adversely impact native species through competition for resources, direct predation and loss of genetic integrity. It has also been implicated as a driver of ecosystem degradation. Early detection of such species is can be critical in order to prevent establishment or to constrain subsequent spread, but this can be difficult using traditional techniques. A relatively novel method is the use of environmental DNA (eDNA), which due to its high specificity & sensitivity, is particularly useful in low-density detection.
This Invasive Animal CRC funded project on eDNA surveillance led by the University of Canberra is utilizing advanced DNA detection technology combined with a robust analytical framework to enable rapid field application for a wide range of taxa. The goal is to deliver a platform for rapid, sensitive, and cost-effective detection of aquatic pest species that threaten Australia’s biosecurity. Specifically we are developing a quantitative framework using targeted species to enable a probability of detection, which is testing a range of paramters that impact on eDNA detection. We are also developing methods to enable multispecies detection using high throughput meta-barcoding approaches.