A nanosorbent collection system for environmental DNA (eDNA) for invasive species detection by using Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR)

Early detection of aquatic invasive species is essential in preserving biodiversity in natural areas. Proactive detection enables rapid action against invasion. One method of detection involves the identification of the genetic material, or environmental DNA (eDNA) that these invasive species shed in the water. Water from an aquatic area is run through a filtration system to capture the eDNA. The filtration technology currently in use has a low efficiency in eDNA capture. To maximize the potential of this method, cellulose filters were functionalized with amine-abundant polymers using sorbent technology. The positive charge of the polymer attracts the negatively charged eDNA. The efficiency of the functionalized filters for eDNA capture was tested by using common carp tissue infected with KHV virus as a model. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) was used to detect and quantify the genetic material of the carp and virus that was captured by the filters. The influence of the pH on filter effectiveness was tested. It was determined that a lower sample pH results in a greater amount of eDNA capture and a higher efficiency. This filter optimization will allow more accurate and efficient detection of aquatic invasive species.

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