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Title: Refining Environmental DNA Protocols Developed for the Endangered James Spinymussel (Pleurobema Collina)
Contact: Bridget M. Donaldson
Project No.: 114306
Target Date: 08/31/2020
Abstract: The James Spinymussel (JSM) is an endangered freshwater mussel endemic to aquatic habitats in non-tidal streams of Virginia’s James River basin. Federal law requires VDOT to conduct biological surveys of the JSM before initiating projects. These conventional surveys are relatively costly and require a high degree of technical expertise.. Environmental DNA (eDNA) is a genetic technique that may be used to locate, monitor, and survey the status of JSMs. Previous work developed protocols that were at least as accurate as physical sampling for the detection of JSMs within individual stream reaches. This project will focus on extending the findings of the previous study by (1) developing the lower boundaries of detection for template DNA concentration, (2) developing protocols to overcome latent inhibition of molecular genetic reactions, and (3) increasing the precision of using down-stream sampling analyses to determine population information.

 
     Rodney Dyer
     Bridget M. Donaldson