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Hidden world of river biodiversity revealed by water sampling for environmental DNA


CORVALLIS, ORI. – For the first time, researchers have used a novel genome-based method to detect the simultaneous presence of hundreds of organisms in a stream.

Oregon State University Scientists and the US There. Forest Service The Pacific Northwest Research Station has recently published the findings of its findings in the Environmental DNA journal.

For the study, the collaborators extracted genetic material from a kind of physical matter that was left in a stream through a wide range of organisms – from fish to flies – including skin cells and excrement. With this method, they also detected microscopic species.

Although not found in the study, this method has the potential to detect strong plant-damage water molds that are responsible for root and stem Poland diseases, and pathogens that cause fungal diseases such as chrysanthemum fungi, which are killing amphibians all over the world. .

Tiffany Garcia, an Oregon-state aquatic acoustic academician's college of science and co-author of the study, some of the major applications for this method are monitoring disease, invasive species and rare or endangered species.

"It's like sampling the air in a terrestrial environment and getting Eu queues from all the different species, which is impossible. But with water, it's possible," Garcia said.

The new method offers an alternative to electrofishing, which sends electric current through water to a temporary stun fish and was the preferred method for sampling fish populations in rivers and streams. According to the researcher, the new method used by Oregon State and Forest Service researchers, who used a microfluidic device, has several advantages over electrofishing.

Collecting the environment DNA is less labor-intensive than electroshocking, it does not print the organisms, and does not require animal handling permits.

Lada L. Hauck, a molecular biologist with the Pacific Northwest Research Station and co-lead author of the study, "One species of Edna have been working for a while, but our use of a microfluidic platform expands their approach." Unique kinds of interest, but at the same time, we are raising biodiversity and ecosystem health data from hundreds of organisms – all the same in one pattern. "

Before the study, the research team collected water samples of five sites in Fall Creek in the Oregon Coast Range in 2017. Water samples were collected immediately before electrofishing surveys. They have filtered three-liter samples through fine mesh filters to collect biological particles in the water.

The filters are then brought back to the laboratory to extract and analyze the DNA. Using computer programs, the researchers classified 3.2 million DNA sequences in 828 predicted taxonomic groups by comparing them to sequences contained in Genbank, the international genetic sequence database maintained by the United States. There. National Institutions of Health.

When we compared our water samples to the electrofishing results, we found the same species of fish, amphibians and cancer, but in addition, we detected the entire community of organisms that were inhabited in the river, "Kevin Weitemier, a research associate. At OSU and co-lead author on the study.

The water sample, it turned out, contained DNA of 647 species, including 307 insects.

With authors on the study included Richard Cronn, research geneticist and Brooke Penaluna, fish biologist researcher, both with the Pacific Northwest Research Station. Cronn and Penaluna designed the study.

Funding for the research was provided by the Pacific Northwest Research Station and the National Air and Stream Improvement Council.

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