Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
  • Publication
    Identifying spawning sites and other critical habitat in lotic systems using eDNA “snapshots”: A case study using the sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus L.
    Many aquatic species of conservation concern exist at low densities and are inherently difficult to detect or monitor using conventional methods. However, the introduction of environmental (e)DNA has recently transformed our ability to detect these species and enables effective deployment of limited conservation resources. Identifying areas for breeding, as well as the ecological distribution of species, is vital to the survival or recovery of a conservation species (i.e., areas of critical habitat). In many species, spawning events are associated with a higher relative abundance of DNA released within an aquatic system (i.e., gametes, skin cells etc.), making this the ideal time to monitor these species using eDNA techniques. This study aims to examine whether a “snapshot” eDNA sampling approach (i.e., samples taken at fixed points in chronological time) could reveal areas of critical habitat including spawning sites for our target species Petromyzon marinus. We utilized a species‐specific qPCR assay to monitor spatial and temporal patterns in eDNA concentration within two river catchments in Ireland over three consecutive years. We found that eDNA concentration increased at the onset of observed spawning activity and patterns of concentration increased from downstream to upstream over time, suggesting dispersal into the higher reaches as the spawning season progressed. We found P. marinus to be present upstream of several potential barriers to migration, sometimes in significant numbers. Our results also show that the addition of a lamprey‐specific fish pass at an “impassable” weir, although assisting in ascent, did not have any significant impact on eDNA concentration upstream after the pass had been installed. eDNA concentration was also found to be significantly correlated with both the number of fish and the number of nests encountered. The application of snapshot sampling techniques for species monitoring therefore has substantial potential for the management of low‐density species in fast‐moving aquatic systems.
      445Scopus© Citations 35
  • Publication
    The Identification of a 1916 Irish Rebel: New Approach for Estimating Relatedness from Low Coverage Homozygous Genomes
    Thomas Kent was an Irish rebel who was executed by British forces in the aftermath of the Easter Rising armed insurrection of 1916 and buried in a shallow grave on Cork prison’s grounds. In 2015, ninety-nine years after his death, a state funeral was offered to his living family to honor his role in the struggle for Irish independence. However, inaccuracies in record keeping did not allow the bodily remains that supposedly belonged to Kent to be identified with absolute certainty. Using a novel approach based on homozygous single nucleotide polymorphisms, we identified these remains to be those of Kent by comparing his genetic data to that of two known living relatives. As the DNA degradation found on Kent’s DNA, characteristic of ancient DNA, rendered traditional methods of relatedness estimation unusable, we forced all loci homozygous, in a process we refer to as 'forced homozygote approach'. The results were confirmed using simulated data for different relatedness classes. We argue that this method provides a necessary alternative for relatedness estimations, not only in forensic analysis, but also in ancient DNA studies, where reduced amounts of genetic information can limit the application of traditional methods.
      437Scopus© Citations 10
  • Publication
    A novel method of microsatellite genotyping-by-sequencing using individual combinatorial barcoding
    This study examines the potential of next-generation sequencing based 'genotyping-by-sequencing'(GBS) of microsatellite loci for rapid and cost-effective genotyping in large-scale population genetic studies. The recovery of individual genotypes from large sequence pools was achieved by PCR-incorporated combinatorial barcoding using universal primers. Three experimental conditions were employed to explore the possibility of using this approach with existing and novel multiplex marker panels and weighted amplicon mixture. The GBS approach was validated against microsatellite data generated by capillary electrophoresis. GBS allows access to the underlying nucleotide sequences that can reveal homoplasy, even in large datasets and facilitates cross laboratory transfer. GBS of microsatellites, using individual combinatorial barcoding, is potentially faster and cheaper than current microsatellite approaches and offers better and more data.
      349Scopus© Citations 52