Material Information

What state is environmental DNA found and does that affect detection rates in the North American river otter?
Sydney Waloven
Dr. Nicholas Sard


Subjects / Keywords:
environmental DNA
molecular ecology
CTAB buffer
river otters
differential centrifugation
extracellular DNA
intracellular DNA


Environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling is an exciting new method used in ecology to study species, notably threatened and endangered species. The purpose of this research is to use eDNA sampling to determine whether the presence of North American river otters could be detected at Rice Creek and whether there was a difference in detection using end-point PCR vs. qPCR. Additionally, we were testing to see whether there was a difference between intracellular and extracellular DNA concentration and how that affected the river otter’s detection rates. Improving our ability to detect species can improve assessment of species’ distributions and aid in assisting species of conservation concern. eDNA sampling is an emerging tool in the fields of ecology and conservation used to infer the presence of a species during the recent past. eDNA is any DNA that can be sampled from the environment typically from water, sediment, or soil (Rees et al. 2014). Therefore, eDNA sampling does not need to be directly sampled from the target organism. eDNA sampling can be more efficient and sensitive at detecting low abundance species compared to traditional trapping and netting methods (e.g., Jerde et al. 2011). However, the knowledge surrounding the ‘ecology’ of eDNA (i.e. the origin, state, fate, and transport) is still poorly understood (Barnes and Turner 2016) and this is what we are aiming to expand upon with our project.
Collected for SUNY Oswego Institutional Repository by the online self-submittal tool. Submitted by Sydney Waloven.

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Source Institution:
SUNY Oswego Institutional Repository
Holding Location:
SUNY Oswego Institution
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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