Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Polarised and non-polarised readers for sailors

Invasive Tilapia to be tracked by DNA

by Caroline Kaurila on 20 Apr 2013
Tilapia Department of Fisheries Western Australia http://www.fish.wa.gov.au
One of North Queensland's most invasive species of pest fish could be tracked by its own DNA, in a new collaborative project between researchers from James Cook University and the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Professor Dean Jerry, Deputy Director of JCU’s Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture, along with DAFF fisheries researcher Dr Richard Saunders, have been awarded a grant from the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre to conduct the two-year project.

Tilapia, which are declared noxious in Queensland, are freshwater fish that inhabit shallow streams, ponds, rivers and lakes.

Professor Jerry said tilapia, a highly aggressive and invasive fish species originating from Africa, were becoming particularly prevalent in warm water habitats throughout North Queensland and were threatening to invade streams and rivers in the Gulf of Carpentaria. This species has been shown to harass and prey on native aquatic fauna.

Professor Jerry said the project, eDNA as a Surveillance Tool for Tilapia, would help to track the species’ movements.

'Environmental DNA, or eDNA, is the material that is floating around in the aquatic environment in the form of free-cells shed or excreted from aquatic organisms,' he said.

'It could be individual cells sloughed from the skins, fecal material or mucus, for example.

'DNA technology has become so powerful over recent years that it is now possible to use eDNA as a detection and water body monitoring tool for a number of fish species, including that of invasive species.'

Professor Jerry said researchers would collect two-litre water samples from bodies of water and filter it to concentrate cells.

'We then extract the DNA and test the sample against tilapia species-specific DNA probes, which will indicate to us whether or not DNA from our target organism is present in the sample or not,' he said.

'If the test is positive, it shows that our target organism inhabits the water body.

'The advantage of this technology is that it will reduce the requirement to use previous labor-intensive sampling approaches such as electrofishing or netting, which are relatively expensive and often ineffective at detecting fish with low abundance.'

The work will take place in a range of North Queensland eastern streams, as well as potential invasion front sites in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Sampling and development of the test will occur over the next two years.

Professor Jerry said the use of eDNA as a surveillance tool for tilapia and other pest fish species was an innovative approach.

'It may enable new outbreaks to be detected much earlier than by using traditional methods, and potentially at a stage where the populations are geographically contained and not well established,' he said.

He said the project eventually aimed to develop a quick, effective DNA-based test that could be used to routinely monitor water bodies where tilapia were not currently present.

Collaborator Dr Saunders said the value of developing this DNA technology for Queensland was the rapid detection of new water bodies where tilapia had invaded, allowing a quick response which may help eradication efforts before the fish populations reached a level where eradication becomes impossible. James Cook University
Pantaenius - Worldwide SupportSydney Harbour Boat Storage 660x82Guy Nowell - Blue 660

Related Articles

Barramundi populations at risk from acid oceans
Wild barramundi populations are likely to be at risk under ocean acidification, a new University of Adelaide study found Wild barramundi populations are likely to be at risk under ocean acidification, a new University of Adelaide study has found. Published in the journal Oecologia, the study is the first to show that even freshwater fish which only spend a small portion of their lifecycle in the ocean are likely to be seriously affected under the higher CO2 levels
Posted on 1 Jan
The Deepwater Horizon aftermath
Researchers analyze 125 compounds from oil spilled in Gulf of Mexico to determine their longevity at different levels. Researchers analyze 125 compounds from oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico to determine their longevity at different contamination levels. The oil discharged into the Gulf of Mexico following the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) rig in 2010 contaminated more than 1,000 square miles of seafloor.
Posted on 1 Jan
Magnetic force pulls baby reef fish back home
Baby reef fish have an internal magnetic ‘compass’ that directs them home at night, world-first research has revealed. Baby reef fish have an internal magnetic ‘compass’ that directs them home at night, world-first research has revealed. Professor Mike Kingsford from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University collaborated with colleagues in Germany to find out how tiny Cardinal fish, the size of a fingernail, are able to swim towards home when there’s no sun or stars to guide them
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
DAERA designates four new MCZs in the Northern Ireland Inshore Region
Following a public consultation, DAERA Marine and Fisheries Division has designated four new Marine Conservation Zones The new MCZs are intended to protect clams in Belfast Lough, the habitat of rare black guillemots on Rathlin Island, one of Ireland’s largest seagrass meadows located off the coast of Waterfoot in Co Antrim, and a community of sea pens – a type of soft coral – in Carlingford Lough.
Posted on 14 Dec 2016
Great Barrier Reef managers and industry prepare for summer
Marine park managers, scientists and experts recently met for the annual pre-summer workshop Marine park managers, scientists and experts recently met for the annual pre-summer workshop to assess climate-related risks to the Great Barrier Reef over the coming months. Current predictions by the Bureau of Meteorology and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are for a summer of average sea temperatures across the Great Barrier Reef.
Posted on 7 Dec 2016
Introducing the Airbnb of the mooring and marina world
Have you ever struggled to find an available mooring, or do you have a mooring that is sitting vacant? Have you ever struggled to find an available mooring, or do you have a mooring that is sitting vacant? makefastmooring.com is aiming to solve this problem by connecting boat owners with those with vacant moorings or berths. With a growing number of moorings and marinas in New Zealand, Australia and around the world, makefastmooring.com allows people to find, rent and share moorings and berths.
Posted on 7 Dec 2016
Radio spectrum changes have been put into place in New Zealand
New Zealand, along with a number of other countries, has been required to change some maritime VHF repeater channels New Zealand, along with a number of other countries, has been required to change some maritime VHF repeater channels to make space for newly allocated international services for ship tracking and data services. On the October 1st, New Zealand moved a few private VHF repeater services, most Coastguard VHF repeater services, and all NowCasting weather services. An updated radio handbook and freq
Posted on 2 Nov 2016
Operation Retune underway in remote corners of New Zealand
Radio technicians have been working at sites for the Maritime VHF channel changes Radio technicians have been working at sites for the Maritime VHF channel changes The scenery is spectacular but getting to transmitters sites in New Zealand can be a challenge for radio technicians working on the Maritime VHF change over.
Posted on 4 Oct 2016
Skies clear for final day of the Auckland On the Water Boat Show
Heavy rain which hit the Auckland On the Water Boat Show has cleared and it is business as usual The heavy rain which hit the Auckland On the Water Boat Show and the rest of the province has cleared and it is business as usual for the final day. The crowds were at the Viaduct Events Centre gat at 10.00am this morning - a little surprising given the heavy rain which has plagued Auckland over night and at Show opening time, plus the All Blacks Test match which started at 11.00am.
Posted on 1 Oct 2016
New Zealand Maritime radio channels set to change on 1 October
Before you head out on the water next summer there are some important maritime radio changes you need to know about. Before you head out on the water next summer there are some important maritime radio changes you need to know about. On 1 October 2016, New Zealand is changing some maritime VHF repeater channels, and NowCasting weather services, to make space for new international ship tracking and data services, and to make sure our VHF radio services are compatible with the rest of the world.
Posted on 20 Sep 2016