An environmental DNA assay for the detection of the regionally endangered freshwater fish Alburnoides bipunctatus in Germany
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The freshwater fish Alburnoides bipunctatus is a widespread species that suffered from river straightening and water pollution across Europe. The species is difficult to monitor, which hampers evaluation of current reintroduction action. We thus developed an environmental DNA (eDNA) based assay to allow for monitoring of A. bipunctatus in central Germany. A 63 bp cytochrome b-based mitochondrial marker proved highly sensitive and specific for A. bipunctatus. The assay was tested in the laboratory using different concentrations of reference samples from various local fish species. A real-life test using water samples from three reintroduction sites was used to validate the applicability of the assay.
KeywordsAlburnoides bipunctatus qPCR eDNA Reintroduction Biomonitoring
We acknowledge the upper fisheries administration of the State of Hessen, namely the Regierungspräsidium Kassel (Christoph Laczny), for financial and logistical support. We would like to thank the Rhön Biosphere Reserve team in Hessen for initiating this project and in particular Joachim Walter for the helpful guidance to the sampling sites and assistance in eDNA sampling. We are thankful to Wolfgang Silkenat and Matthias Schäffner (Fischereifachberatung Bezirk Unterfranken), who provided diverse fish tissues for the development of the eDNA assay. We kindly acknowledge Dr. Harald Groß for the provision of A. bipunctatus individuals for initial eDNA tests. We are thankful to Fiona Paul and Lina Wolf for their field and laboratory assistance during the project.
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