The detection of rare and cryptic aquatic species with conventional methods, such as electrofishing, is often time-consuming, affects the organisms and their habitats and cannot always be applied on a larger scale due to economic reasons. This can be remedied by eDNA barcoding (environmental-DNA), in which a species is detected by its DNA in the water. In a project of the GMO laboratory and the Fachabteilung Oberflächengewässer of the Umweltbundesamt, methods for sampling of eDNA, fixing of samples, transport, storage, DNA extraction, and amplification of DNA were established.
The competencies gained were tested within the scope of a biological monitoring at the March River from 2017 – 2019 using the weatherfish, Misgurnus fossilis, as study species. One of the main challenges was the high content of organic substances in the waters of the March floodplains, which makes the extraction of useful DNA material more difficult. Nevertheless, it could be shown that the detection of the weatherfish using eDNA is as reliable as the detection using the more elaborating electrofishing. Although the use of eDNA has still limitations – neither the number (abundance) can be estimated exactly nor the vitality, sex, weight, and length of the individuals nor their willingness to spawn can be determined – it is a promising method. Thanks to the established “Standard Operating Procedures” (SOPs), the application of the eDNA approach is ready to use for routine surveys at the Umweltbundesamt for future studies.
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- Our new project: ABOL-RefDat23. January, 2024 - 11:20
ABOL reference data (ABOL-RefDat) – call for project collaboration! We are very pleased that the ABOL-RefDat project, funded by the Biodiversity Fund, started at the beginning of the year! Our goal? The creation of at least 5,000 DNA barcodes for at least 1,500 Austrian species of animals, plants and fungi, as well as closing data […]
- Christoph Gruber | BOKU-ITThese were the Days of Biodiversity 202320. November, 2023 - 15:58
“Together on the way out of the biodiversity crisis” was the title of the Biodiversity Days 2023 from November 8th to 10th, which took place at BOKU Vienna. In 9 sessions, different aspects of the biodiversity crisis and different actors were addressed. This breadth of topics was only possible through the first-time cooperation between 5 […]
- M. SonnleitnerDNA barcoding workshop at the University of Zambia 2.019. October, 2023 - 15:02
Due to last year’s great success, the 2nd DNA barcoding workshop took place in September at the University of Zambia (UNZA) in the capital Lusaka. As part of the OeAD project “Inventorying biodiversity in the tropics: Establishing a DNA-barcoding pipeline for characterizing and monitoring Zambia’s biodiversity” led by the University of Graz (Stephan Koblmüller and Lukas Zangl) and participation by ABOL and Prof. Cyprian Katongo (UNZA ) students and […]