Developing Real Time Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) For The Detection Of Aquatic Species

Monday, September 9, 2013: 2:00 PM
Marriott Ballroom B (The Marriott Little Rock)
Gregg Schumer , GENIDAQS, Cramer Fish Sciences, West Sacramento, CA
Melinda Baerwald , University of California, Davis
Scott Brandl , Animal Science, UC Davis, Davis, CA
Brian Schreier , California Department of Water Resources, West Sacramento, CA
Scott Blankenship , GENIDAQS, Cramer Fish Sciences, West Sacramento, CA
The affordability, utility, and possibilities afforded by genetic “barcodes” has captured the interest of researchers, agencies, and funders on an international level. This has led to an explosion of genetic data generation and public availability of digital DNA on barcode databases such as NCBI Genbank and BOLD (Barcode of Life database). Using barcodes and barcode databases, species specific Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) assays can be designed to detect the presence of target species where traditional sampling is inefficient or impossible. The use of qPCR as a means of species detection by fisheries biologists has risen over the past decade. As a result, the adoption of qPCR has led to the transition of the qPCR technique from being purely a laboratory technique to a field technique. This transition requires much scrutiny, development, and adaptation to become wholly accepted by researchers and resource managers in the fisheries biology community. In the past 3 years, in collaboration with the UC Davis Genomic Variation Laboratory and the California Department of Water Resources, Cramer Fish Sciences/Genidaqs has been developing techniques to use qPCR as a tool to detect the presence of prey in the stomach contents of predators in the Sacramento San Joaquin North Delta. This presentation highlights the research and development of qPCR as a tool available to resource managers and researchers to analyze the stomach contents of predators for the presence of single and multiple prey items simultaneously, enabling advancements in the study of species interactions.