Research Mentor(s): Subba Rao Chaganti, Assistant Research Scientist
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research, School for Environment and Sustainability
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 3 (1pm-1:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 18
Environmental DNA (eDNA) is genetic material from urine, waste, mucus, or sloughed cells collected from aquatic habitats that can be analyzed for species detection without ever seeing the actual organism. It is an emerging management tool that is useful for monitoring invasive, native, and endangered species. Traditional methods of data collection tend to harm or kill species so that they can be preserved for laboratory identification. Sampling done using eDNA methods, on the other hand, is a low-cost alternative that does not harm any species. It can be done in harsher conditions and is able to detect species that tend to be missed using traditional methods. While this technology has been shown to be extremely beneficial, there have been issues concerning a communication and knowledge gap between researchers and conservationists. Our research project aims to bridge this gap by creating a database that is publicly accessible, and user-friendly for both conservationists and other scientific researchers. We have compiled important information from approximately 300 research articles and organized it in a uniform format, within a centralized database. This database focuses on allowing the end-user to search through pre-designed assays for a variety of target species, with generalized information about quantitative real-time PCR (e.g. chemistry (SYBR green, Probe) and primer efficiency). We believe this database will greatly benefit conservationists and other potential non-geneticist eDNA end-users as an efficient tool to search through pre-designed assays, and to understand key concepts for implementing qPCR based eDNA monitoring.