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Data from: Detection of the endangered European weather loach (Misgurnus fossilis) via water and sediment samples: testing multiple eDNA workflows.

Citation

Kusanke, Lena Maureen et al. (2021), Data from: Detection of the endangered European weather loach (Misgurnus fossilis) via water and sediment samples: testing multiple eDNA workflows., Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.4xgxd256h

Abstract

The European weather loach (Misgurnus fossilis) is classified as highly endangered in several countries of Central Europe. Populations of M. fossilis are predominantly found in ditches with low water levels and thick sludge layers and are thus hard to detect using conventional fishing methods. Therefore, environmental DNA (eDNA) monitoring appears particularly relevant for this species. In previous studies, M. fossilis was surveyed following eDNA water sampling protocols, which were not optimized for this species. Therefore, we created two full factorial study designs to test six different eDNA workflows for sediment samples and twelve different workflows for water samples. We used qPCR to compare the Threshold cycle (Ct) values of the different workflows, which indicate the target DNA amount in the sample, and spectrophotometry to quantify and compare the total DNA amount inside the samples. We analyzed 96 water samples and 48 sediment samples from a pond with a known population of M. fossilis. We tested several method combinations for long-term sample preservation, DNA capture and DNA extraction. Additionally, we analyzed the DNA yield of samples from a ditch with a natural M. fossilis population monthly over one year to determine the optimal sampling period. Our results showed that the long-term water preservation method commonly used for eDNA surveys of M. fossilis did not lead to optimal DNA yields, and we present a valid long-term sample preservation alternative. A cost-efficient high salt DNA extraction led to the highest target DNA yields and can be used for sediment and water samples. Furthermore, we were able to show that in a natural habitat of M. fossilis, total and target eDNA were higher between June and September, which implies that this period is favorable for eDNA sampling. Our results will help to improve the reliability of future eDNA surveys of M. fossilis.

Funding

Regierungspräsidium Karlsruhe

Regierungspräsidium Darmstadt

Hessisches Landesamt für Naturschutz, Umwelt und Geologie

Struktur und Genehmigungsdirektion Süd

Regierungspräsidium Karlsruhe

Regierungspräsidium Darmstadt

Hessisches Landesamt für Naturschutz, Umwelt und Geologie

Struktur und Genehmigungsdirektion Süd