Nonlinear relationship between Silver Carp density and their eDNA concentration in a large river.
ABSTRACT: Although environmental DNA (eDNA) is increasingly being used to survey for the presence of rare and/or invasive fishes in aquatic systems, the utility of this technique has been limited by a poor understanding of whether and how eDNA concentrations relate to fish density, especially in rivers. We conducted a field study to systematically test whether the eDNA released by a model invasive fish, Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix), was related to the density of this species in a large river. We quantified fish density throughout the 460 km long Illinois River using hydroacoustic surveys at 23 sites while concurrently collecting 192 surface water samples for eDNA analysis. We found that Silver Carp numerical density and biomass density were positively and non-linearly related to eDNA concentration and detection rate. Both eDNA concentration (copy number) and detection rate increased rapidly as Silver Carp density increased but plateaued at moderate densities. These relationships could prove useful for estimating Silver Carp relative abundance in newly invaded locations where population numbers are low to moderate. Future studies should explore the causes of this nonlinear relationship as it would ultimately benefit aquatic species monitoring and management programs.
Project description:The prevention of non-indigenous aquatic invasive species spreading into new areas is a goal of many resource managers. New techniques have been developed to survey for species that are difficult to capture with conventional gears that involve the detection of their DNA in water samples (eDNA). This technique is currently used to track the invasion of bigheaded carps (silver carp and bighead carp; Hypophthalmichthys molitrix and H. nobilis) in the Chicago Area Waterway System and Upper Mississippi River. In both systems DNA has been detected from silver carp without the capture of a live fish, which has led to some uncertainty about the source of the DNA. The potential contribution to eDNA by vectors and fomites has not been explored. Because barges move from areas with a high abundance of bigheaded carps to areas monitored for the potential presence of silver carp, we used juvenile silver carp to simulate the barge transport of dead bigheaded carp carcasses, slime residue, and predator feces to determine the potential of these sources to supply DNA to uninhabited waters where it could be detected and misinterpreted as indicative of the presence of live bigheaded carp. Our results indicate that all three vectors are feasible sources of detectable eDNA for at least one month after their deposition. This suggests that current monitoring programs must consider alternative vectors of DNA in the environment and consider alternative strategies to minimize the detection of DNA not directly released from live bigheaded carps.
Project description:Invasive Asian bighead and silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis and H. molitrix) pose a substantial threat to North American aquatic ecosystems. Recently, environmental DNA (eDNA), genetic material shed by organisms into their environment that can be detected by non-invasive sampling strategies and genetic assays, has gained recognition as a tool for tracking the invasion front of these species toward the Great Lakes. The goal of this study was to develop new species-specific conventional PCR (cPCR) and quantitative (qPCR) markers for detection of these species in North American surface waters. We first generated complete mitochondrial genome sequences from 33 bighead and 29 silver carp individuals collected throughout their introduced range. These sequences were aligned with those from other common and closely related fish species from the Illinois River watershed to identify and design new species-specific markers for the detection of bighead and silver carp DNA in environmental water samples. We then tested these genetic markers in the laboratory for species-specificity and sensitivity. Newly developed markers performed well in field trials, did not have any false positive detections, and many markers had much higher detection rates and sensitivity compared to the markers currently used in eDNA surveillance programs. We also explored the use of multiple genetic markers to determine whether it would improve detection rates, results of which showed that using multiple highly sensitive markers should maximize detection rates in environmental samples. The new markers developed in this study greatly expand the number of species-specific genetic markers available to track the invasion front of bighead and silver carp and will improve the resolution of these assays. Additionally, the use of the qPCR markers developed in this study may reduce sample processing time and cost of eDNA monitoring for these species.
Project description:Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope values (?13C and ?15N) were used to evaluate trophic niche overlap between two filter-feeding fishes (known together as bigheaded carp) native to China, silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) and bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis), and three native filter-feeding fish including bigmouth buffalo (Ictiobus cyprinellus), gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum) and paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) in the lower Missouri River, USA, using the Bayesian Stable Isotope in R statistics. Results indicate that except for bigmouth buffalo, all species displayed similar trophic niche size and trophic diversity. Bigmouth buffalo occupied a small trophic niche and had the greatest trophic overlap with silver carp (93.6%) and bighead carp (94.1%) followed by gizzard shad (91.0%). Paddlefish had a trophic niche which relied on some resources different from those used by other species, and therefore had the lowest trophic overlap with bigheaded carp and other two native fish. The trophic overlap by bigheaded carp onto native fish was typically stronger than the reverse effects from native fish. Average niche overlap between silver carp and native species was as high as 71%, greater than niche overlap between bighead carp and native fish (64%). Our findings indicate that bigheaded carps are a potential threat to a diverse and stable native fish community.
Project description:In the 1970s, the introduced silver carp Hypophthalmichthys molitrix (which is indigenous to eastern Asia) escaped from southern U.S. aquaculture to spread throughout the Mississippi River basin, and since has steadily moved northward. This large, prolific filter-feeder reduces food availability for other fishes. It now has reached the threshold of the Laurentian Great Lakes, where it likely will significantly impact food chains and fisheries. Our study evaluates population genetic variability and differentiation of the silver carp using 10 nuclear DNA microsatellite loci, and sequences of two mitochondrial genes-cytochrome b and cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1, along with the nuclear ribosomal protein S7 gene intron 1. We analyze population samples from: two primary Great Lakes' invasion fronts (at the Illinois River outside of Chicago, IL in Lake Michigan and in the Wabash River, which leads into the Maumee River and western Lake Erie), the original establishment "core" in the Lower Mississippi River, and expansion areas in the Upper Mississippi and Missouri rivers. We analyze and compare our results with bighead and other invasive carps, and cyprinid relatives. Results reveal that the silver carp invasion possesses moderate levels of genetic diversity, with more mtDNA haplotypes and unique microsatellite alleles in the "core" Lower Mississippi River population, which also diverges the most. The two invasion fronts also significantly genetically differ. About 3% of individuals (including all populations except the Illinois River) contain a unique and very divergent mtDNA haplotype, which likely stems from historic introgression in Asia with female largescale silver carp H. harmandi. The nuclear microsatellites and S7 sequences of the introgressed individuals do not differ from silver carp and are very distant from bighead carp. These sequence variation data are employed to design and evaluate a targeted high-throughput metabarcoding sequence assay that identifies and distinguishes among species of invasive carps (i.e., silver, bighead, grass, black, and common carps, along with goldfish), as well as native cyprinids, using cytochrome b. Our assay further differentiates among selected silver carp haplotypes (including between H. molitrix and H. harmandi), for use in population genetics and future analyses of spread pathways. We test and evaluate this assay on environmental (e)DNA water samples from 48 bait shops in the Great Lakes' region (along the Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair, and Wabash River watersheds), using positive and negative controls and custom bioinformatic processing. Test results discern silver carp eDNA in four of the shops-three in Lake Erie and one in the Wabash River watershed-and bighead carp from one of the same Lake Erie venues, suggesting that retailers (who often source from established southerly populations) comprise another introduction vector. Our overall findings thus provide key population genetic and phylogenetic data for understanding and tracing introductions, vectors, and spread pathways for silver carp, their variants, and their relatives.
Project description:In the Mississippi River Basin of North America, invasive bigheaded carp (silver carp Hypophthalmichthys molitrix and bighead carp H. nobilis, also referred to as Asian carp) have spread rapidly over the past several decades. In the Illinois River, an important tributary of the Upper Mississippi River, reproduction appears to be sporadic and frequently unsuccessful, yet bigheaded carp densities in this river are among the highest recorded on the continent. Understanding the causative factors behind erratic recruitment in this commercially-harvested invasive species is important for both limiting their spread and managing their harvest. We analyzed weekly catch records from 15 years of a standardized monitoring program to document the emergence of age-0 bigheaded carp in relation to environmental conditions. The appearance of age-0 fish was generally linked to hydrographic attributes, which probably serve as a cue for spawning. However, we found profound differences in the number of age-0 fish among years, which varied by as much as five orders of magnitude in successive years. The strong link between summer flooding and age-0 fish production we observed emphasizes the importance of understanding the hydrologic context in which sustained invasions occur. Despite evidence of sporadic recruitment, bigheaded carp populations in the Illinois River appear to be consistent or increasing because of particularly strong, episodic year classes.
Project description:Silver (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) and bighead (H. nobilis) carp (collectively bigheaded carp) are invasive fish that threaten aquatic ecosystems in the upper Midwest United States and the Laurentian Great Lakes. Controlling bigheaded carp is a priority of fisheries managers and one area of focus involves developing acoustic deterrents to prevent upstream migration. For an acoustic deterrent to be effective however, the hearing ability of bigheaded carp must be characterized. A previous study showed that bigheaded carp detected sound up to 3 kHz but this range is narrower than what has been reported for other ostariophysans. Therefore, silver and bighead carp frequency detection was evaluated in response to 100 Hz to 9 kHz using auditory evoked potentials (AEPs). AEPs were recorded from 100 Hz to 5 kHz. The lowest thresholds were at 500 Hz for both species (silver carp threshold: 80.6 ± 3.29 dB re 1 ?Pa SPLrms, bighead carp threshold: 90.5 ± 5.75 dB re 1 ?Pa SPLrms; mean ± SD). These results provide fisheries managers with better insight on effective acoustic stimuli for deterrent systems, however, to fully determine bigheaded carp hearing abilities, these results need to be compared with behavioral assessments.
Project description:Datasets presented here were employed in the main work "Characterization of phthalate-degrading-bacteria from Asian carp microbiomes and riverine sediments" (Kolb et al., 2019a). The carcinogenic compounds dimethyl phthalate (DMP), diethyl phthalate (DEP), and dibutyl phthalate (DBP) are ubiquitous in the environment due to widespread production and distribution which can be taken up by aquatic organisms. Asian carp species silver (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) and bighead (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) are exposed to phthalates by ingestion and absorption. This article presents data on the characterization of phthalate-degrading bacteria isolated from Asian carp microbiomes and riverine sediments by means of sample collection, enrichment, and isolation. Graphical data presents substrate utilization profiles of consortium SK-1 and Rhodococcus ruber derived from the gut microbiome of H. molitrix. Additionally, phthalate-degrading microbes were isolated from the gut and scale microbiomes of Asian carp where scanning electron microscopy images show the morphology from samples of final enrichment cultures and isolates. Consortium SK-1 was subjected to amplicon sequencing where community data shows the distribution of taxa while enriched with 500 mg L-1 DMP, DEP, and DBP combined. The data presented can provide insights to future research since other phthalate-degrading isolates and consortia can potentially be isolated from the microbiomes of aquatic organisms.
Project description:Bighead carp (Aristichthys nobilis) and silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) are closely related species in the subfamily Xenocypridinae within Cyprinidae, and they are also two of the four most important pond-cultured fish species in China. The ability to resist some diseases often differs significantly in silver carp and bighead carp during fishery production. However, the evolutionary divergence of the immune defense functions in these two species is still not understood at the molecular level. The data presented in this article are related to the research article entitled "Comparative analysis of spleen transcriptome detects differences in evolutionary adaptation of immune defense functions in bighead carp and silver carp" (Li et al., 2018). Please refer to this data article for interpretation of the data. Data provided in this submission comprise the Ka/Ks ratios of orthologs as well as adaptive evolution genes, expression levels of orthologs, and TPM value of genes expressed only in spleen of bighead carp or silver carp. These data provide a better understanding of the differences in evolutionary adaptation of immune defense functions in bighead carp and silver carp.
Project description:Bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) and silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix), collectively called bigheaded carps, are invasive species in the Mississippi River Basin (MRB). Interspecific hybridization between bigheaded carps has been considered rare within their native rivers in China; however, it is prevalent in the MRB. We conducted de novo transcriptome analysis of pure and hybrid bigheaded carps and obtained 40,759 to 51,706 transcripts for pure, F1 hybrid, and backcross bigheaded carps. The search against protein databases resulted in 20,336-28,133 annotated transcripts (over 50% of the transcriptome) with over 13,000 transcripts mapped to 23 Gene Ontology biological processes and 127 KEGG metabolic pathways. More transcripts were detected in silver carp than in bighead carp; however, comparable numbers of transcripts were annotated. Transcriptomic variation detected between two F1 hybrids may indicate a potential loss of fitness in hybrids. The neighbor-joining distance tree constructed using over 2,500 one-to-one orthologous sequences suggests transcriptomes could be used to infer the history of introgression and hybridization. Moreover, we detected 24,792 candidate SNPs that can be used to identify different species. The transcriptomes, orthologous sequences, and candidate SNPs obtained in this study should provide further knowledge of interspecific hybridization and introgression.
Project description:Field studies to detect environmental DNA (eDNA) can be undertaken to infer the presence of a rare or cryptic species in a water body. These studies are implemented by collecting water samples from the water body, processing those samples to isolate genetic material contained in the water sample, and using a laboratory assay to find a species-specific genetic marker within a sample of the genetic material. To date, conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has been one of the most widely used assays in field studies to detect eDNA. This assay is strictly a test for the presence of the genetic marker. It provides no estimate of the concentration of the target genetic marker in the sample or in the environment. Understanding the concentration of a target marker in the environment is a critical first step toward using the results of eDNA field surveys to support inferences about the location and strength of eDNA sources. In this study, the results of eDNA field surveys are combined with a model of the sensitivity of the field survey methods to estimate target marker concentrations using Bayesian updating. The method is demonstrated for Asian carp in the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS) using the results of field surveys for eDNA carried out during the period 2009 through 2012, a four-year period during which more than 5,800 two-liter water samples were collected and analyzed using PCR. Concentrations of bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) and silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) eDNA are estimated for twenty hydrologic reaches of the CAWS. This study also assesses the sensitivity of these concentration estimates to evidentiary criteria that limit what evidence is used in Bayesian updating based on requirements for sampling intensity and frequency.