DNA Based Predator Stomach Content Analysis for Single and Multiple Prey Species

Thursday, August 21, 2014: 11:50 AM
301B (Centre des congrès de Québec // Québec City Convention Centre)
Gregg Schumer , Genidaqs, A Cramer Fish Sciences business, West Sacramento, CA
Scott Brandl , Animal Science, UC Davis, Davis, CA
Melinda Baerwald , Animal Science, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA
Effects of predation on native fish have not been thoroughly studied due in large part to inherent limitations of traditional stomach content visual analyses. Species-specific quantitative PCR (qPCR) is an accurate and extremely sensitive method for identifying DNA from exogenous and endogenous sources. Using locally sequenced barcodes and barcode databases (BOLD, NCBI), many species specific qPCR assays have been designed and are currently in use to detect the presence of prey species from the stomach contents and feces of aquatic and avian predators. These species specific qPCR assays allow for a direct assessment of predation and its impact on native fishes. 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.