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Report from S&T Project 19008: Evaluation of preservation methods for veliger detection field samples

Early detection of dreissenid mussels (quagga and zebra) provides the ability to plan for and limit the impact these invasive bivalves. Proper preservation of field samples is critical to the success of early detection efforts, as it is necessary to maintain sample integrity to ensure the reliability of sample analyses. The current study evaluated the impact of five preservatives: 20% ethanol, 70% ethanol, 70% isopropanol, Longmire’s solution, and propylene glycol, on environmental DNA (eDNA) analyses for the detection of quagga mussel eDNA. All five preservatives successfully resulted in the detection of quagga mussel eDNA over 12-week time-course of the study. Results were further analyzed to calculate the starting quantity of target eDNA in the samples. 70% ethanol, 70% isopropanol, and propylene glycol all averaged similar starting quantities. Longmire’s solution resulted in lower average starting quantities. Samples preserved with 20% ethanol had much higher calculated starting quantities, which was unexpected and runs counter to conventional wisdom on the necessity for high alcohol concentrations to prevent eDNA degradation. The reasons for this anomalous result are uncertain, although they may relate to the specific design of the current study.
Generation Effort S&T Project 19008: Evaluation of preservation methods for veliger detection field samples
Location Western US
Themes Biological
Tags Quagga/Zebra Mussels, Environmental DNA (eDNA)
Reclamation Project
Reclamation Program Science and Technology Program

Location Information

Location Name Western US
Location Description The 17 western states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona..
Location Tags Reclamation Domain
Location Parent
State(s) Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
Unified Region(s) Missouri Basin, Arkansas-Rio Grande-Texas-Gulf, Upper Colorado Basin, Lower Colorado Basin, Columbia-Pacific Northwest, California-Great Basin
Timezone MT
Elevation [ N/A ]
Vertical Datum NAVD88
Coordinates (lat, long) See Location Details
Horizontal Datum WGS84