Molecular Methods for the Reclamation Detection Laboratory for Exotic Species (RDLES)

Project ID: 1748
Principal Investigator: Jacque Keele
Research Topic: Invasive Species
Funded Fiscal Years: 2017, 2018 and 2019
Keywords: None

Research Question

RDLES has made a consorted effort to improve its detection methods for the both invasive quagga and zebra mussels. In addition to these organisms, other invasive organisms, such as Asian clam, have had standard operating procedures developed and validated at RDLES. This research proposal has two parts. The first goal is to continue to develop and validate additional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays for invasive species. The second goal can be divided into two parts. First to design and validate loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay for the detection of quagga and zebra mussel DNA, and other invasive species. LAMP is a newer amplification technique that has some advantages over the conventional PCR that is currently being performed. Understanding the limits and advantages of LAMP over conventional PCR is a central goal of this project. The second part will be compare LAMP and conventional PCR with real world samples to determine which assay can detect the lowest concentration of target DNA. These assays will also be used to study the impact of sample preservation and storage on eDNA detection. This project will continue to expand RLDES knowledge of PCR methods and eDNA detection.

Need and Benefit

Need: The development of additional PCR assays for species of concern is important fro the quick and accurate identification of an invasive species for implementing control or mitigation in a timely manner. By having in place PCR assays that can rapidly identify an organism it is possible to assist a whole range of researchers. Understanding and designing LAMP assays can assist RDLES in its detection of quagga and zebra mussel eDNA in raw water samples.
Benefit: By having in place validated PCR assays for a wide range of invasive species it is possible to rapidly and efficiency analyze unknown invasive species if they are sent the the RDLES Laboratory. The development of LAMP assays offers an additional tool for Reclamation researchers to use in their work to detection quagga and zebra mussels in raw water.
Urgency: If this research was not funded, we would never know if the LAMP assays are a more efficient and sensitive assay for the detection of quagga and zebra mussels, and other organisms in raw water. This method could prove to be very helpful in our detection efforts.

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Last Updated: 4/4/17