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Environmental DNA detection of redfin perch, Perca fluviatilis


Invasive alien species are one of the leading causes of extinctions worldwide. Preventing their establishment, eradicating or containing their spread relies on low-density detection. Environmental DNA (eDNA) has been shown to have superior detection sensitivity compared to traditional methods, permitting detection at lower densities. Here, we develop a species-specific assay to detect Perca fluviatilis (redfin perch), an invasive freshwater fish present in Australia. We show that the assay is highly sensitive and highly specific to detect the species in Australian freshwater environments and demonstrate the utility of the assay for detecting the species from environmental water samples. This assay will prove useful for low-density detection of P. fluviatilis to assist in the management of this invader, with conservation benefits for the native species it threatens.

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We would like to thank the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre (Project 1.W.2) for funding to conduct this research. We are grateful to C. M. Hardy, M. Lintermans and P. Unmack for advice and access to DNA samples, and to three anonymous reviewers for comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. Animal collections and holdings were carried out under ACT Government TAMS Licence to Take, Licence number LT2013661 and LT2013699 and University of Canberra CEAE 13-05.

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Correspondence to Elise M. Furlan.

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Furlan, E.M., Gleeson, D. Environmental DNA detection of redfin perch, Perca fluviatilis . Conservation Genet Resour 8, 115–118 (2016).

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  • eDNA
  • Environmental DNA
  • Detection
  • Species-specific
  • Redfin perch
  • Perca fluviatilis