Development of field sampling protocol standards for environmental DNA (eDNA) monitoring of dreissenid mussels

Project ID: 19009
Principal Investigator: Sherri Pucherelli
Research Topic: Invasive Species
Funded Fiscal Years: 2019, 2020 and 2021
Keywords: None

Research Question

The goal of this research is to evaluate field-based protocol standards and guidelines for dreissenid mussel eDNA
surveillance that generate repeatable and reproducible results in a range of challenge conditions. Federal, state and
tribal managers in the West are hesitant to use environmental DNA (eDNA) surveillance of dreissenid mussels to
inform decision making until there are standardized protocols for eDNA field collection and lab analysis that generate
repeatable and reproducible results. Given the need to prevent dreissenid mussel spread to the Columbia River
Basin, the Western Regional Panel, the Western Governors' Association's Biosecurity and Invasive Species Initiative,
and the DOI Safeguarding the West Initiative have all identified development and evaluation of eDNA dreissenid
mussel field and lab protocols as an urgent need. In FY18, Reclamation assisted with a USGS led study that
evaluated eDNA lab protocols. For FY19-20, we propose to evaluate field sampling approaches that best match with
anticipated field conditions (e.g., water turbidity) and with the lab analytical approaches identified in our FY18 research

Need and Benefit

Reclamation has a robust invasive mussel early detection program that is run by the Reclamation Detection
Laboratory for Exotic Species. We receive invasive mussel samples from a variety of collaborators across the Western
United States who use the results to make management decisions. These partners are requesting that early detection
labs conduct research studies that will provide more information about how eDNA can be used to make these
management decisions and to standardize eDNA sampling protocols. Reclamation receives early detection samples
from all regions and the results of this research will inform our sampling protocol and will provide insight for our clients
on the applicability of these results for waterbodies across the Western United States.

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

Research Products

Bureau of Reclamation Review

The following documents were reviewed by experts in fields relating to this project's study and findings. The results were determined to be achieved using valid means.

Evaluating the Sensitivity and Reproducibility of Environmental DNA Field Sampling Workflows for Detection of Dreissenid Mussels (final, PDF, 1.5MB)
By Adam Sepulveda, Sherri Pucherelli, Yale Passamaneck, Jacque Keele
Report completed on September 30, 2022

This research product summarizes the research results and potential application to Reclamation's mission.

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Last Updated: 6/22/20