Researchers from the University of Illinois are using microbial analysis to add more detail to eDNA sampling used to detect the presence of invasive Asian Carp, according to a Michigan Public Radio report.
The team uses microbial analysis to test for fish feces in the water. Testing is similar to methods used to detect fecal contaminants in water bodies and drinking water systems.
Asian carp have a microbial composition in their guts that are unique from other fish.
Detecting Asian carp feces can give researchers a more direct indication of whether or not Asian carp are in a body of water. Sampling for eDNA only shows that the invasive species’ DNA is present, but that may not mean the fish are present.
Image: Silver Carp (Credit: D. O’Keefe, Michigan Sea Grant)