Introduction to Edna: Context, Considerations, and Caveats

Thursday, September 12, 2013: 8:00 AM
Fulton (Statehouse Convention Center)
Jeff Olsen , Conservation Genetics Laboratory, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Anchorage, AK
Meredith Bartron , Northeast Fishery Center, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Lamar, PA
Denise Hawkins , Abernathy Fish Technology Center, USFWS Abernathy Fish Technology Center, Longview, WA
Jon J. Amberg , Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, United States Geological Survey, La Crosse, WI
Rapid advances in the field of molecular genetics continue to provide new tools for research, management and conservation. One such genetic tool is environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis.  eDNA refers to DNA that organisms leave behind or shed as they pass through the environment.  This shed DNA can be detected using routine molecular techniques such as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify species-specific genes, potentially linking the organism to the environment without actually observing the organism.  eDNA analysis is currently being evaluated and applied for uses such as surveillance and control of aquatic invasive species, identification and monitoring of endangered species, and analysis of biodiversity.  In this symposium we will explore the methodologies and potential uses of eDNA analysis for monitoring, managing and conserving fishery resources and aquatic habitat. This presentation by the organizers will provide an overview of eDNA, introducing some of the technical background for the subsequent presentations. In addition to the general field collection and laboratory protocols and analysis background, an overview of the interpretation and application of results, including such issues such as false positive and false negative results, PCR inhibition, and contamination, will also be introduced.