A workflow for the relative quantification of multiple fish species from oceanic water samples using environmental DNA (eDNA) to support large-scale fishery surveys
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A workflow for the relative quantification of multiple fish species from oceanic water samples using environmental DNA (eDNA) to support large-scale fishery surveys

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  • Journal Title:
    PLOS ONE
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  • Description:
    While the number of published marine studies using environmental DNA (eDNA) has increased substantially in recent years, marine fish surveys are still scarce. To examine the potential for eDNA to support marine fisheries monitoring surveys, we optimized an eDNA isolation method, developed a multispecies assay and tested it on eDNA samples collected along the Pacific coast of the United States. Four commercial DNA extraction kits that exploit the capability of the nucleic acids binding a solid phase (two using a silica matrix and two magnetic beads) as well an organic separation method were tested. A species-specific multiplex qPCR assay was developed and tested to simultaneously target Pacific hake (Merluccius productus), Pacific lamprey (Entosphenus tridentatus) and eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus). The specificity of the assay was tested in silico, in vitro and in natura. Environmental DNA isolation using phenol:chloroform:isoamyl purification with a phase lock was optimized and yielded the highest amount of total and target DNA and was used to extract 46 marine water samples for the detection of the three species of interest. The multiplex qPCR assay used in the quantification process was also optimized to provide convenience and accuracy. Pacific hake was present in 44% of the eDNA samples while the other two species were absent. Here, we present a complete workflow for the simultaneous detection and quantification of multiple marine fish species using eDNA. This workflow supports large-scale at-sea sampling efforts with preservation at ambient temperatures and has demonstrated DNA extraction efficiency and reliability. The multiplex qPCR assay is shown to be sensitive and specific for the purposes of simultaneously monitoring the relative abundance of multiple targeted fish species.
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    PLOS ONE, 16(9), e0257773
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  • ISSN:
    1932-6203
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    CC0 Public Domain
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    Library
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