Solutions for Progress 

Monitoring for freshwater mussel presence in rivers using environmental DNA

RBI congratulates Ellen Preece for her article published in Environmental DNA.  The article is entitled "Monitoring for freshwater mussel presence in rivers using environmental DNA." The following is a brief excerpt:

In 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) updated its national
recommended water quality criteria for the protection of aquatic life from the
toxic effects of ammonia in freshwaters. From its updated national dataset,
USEPA determined freshwater mussels in the family Unionidae were the most
sensitive taxa to ammonia. Thus, it has become necessary to determine whether
freshwater mussels exist in waterbodies near discharge locations from
Publically Owned Treatment Works (POTWs), to ensure that POTWs are regulated
appropriately with regard to ammonia levels in their treated effluent. However,
because mussels are notoriously difficult to detect using traditional survey
methodologies, most POTWs have not determined whether freshwater mussels exist
in their receiving waters. Environmental DNA (eDNA) presents a promising
methodology to survey for freshwater mussels in POTW receiving waters. We
developed and validated a quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assay
for the three freshwater mussel taxa that are currently known to exist in
California's Central Valley.

To find out just how they accomplished this feat, click the following link for the complete article.