Investigation of environmental RNA (eRNA) as a detection method for dreissenid mussels and other invasive species
Environmental RNA is an emerging field of interest for biologists performing early detection of invasive species. The goal of this research proposal is to gain a greater understanding of both the advantages and limitations of using eRNA as a tool for the early detection of aquatic invasive species, including quagga, and zebra mussels.
Need and Benefit
Invasions by dreissenid mussels threaten the ability of Reclamation to accomplish its mission of water and power delivery. It is important to understand current molecular biology methods and how they can be applied to Reclamation's mission goals. eRNA could possibly be used to assess if an organism was alive or dead when it is collected. eRNA has the potential of being used to assess post mussel treatments to determine if any living invasive mussels are still present.
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