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DNA in seawater can reveal the diversity of fish in the deep ocean



DNA in seawater can reveal the diversity of fish in the deep ocean

A camera traps fish at a depth of more than 2,000 meters. Photo Vendor: David Cote, Fisheries and Oceans Canada

A new study demonstrates the effectiveness of a new method of using DNA in seawater samples to determine which species of fish are present in a certain part of the deep sea. A group of scientists from eDNAtec Inc. and colleagues from Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Memorial University presented the findings in open-access journals PLOS ONE on November 4.


The ability to monitor the diversity of deep-sea fishes is essential to implementing sustainable management efforts and understanding the impacts of commercial fishing and climate change. However, available methods, such as baiting photo traps, trawl nets and acoustic surveillance, have limited detection capacity and are difficult to use in much of the ocean.

A newer method called eDNA supercoding shows which fish are present in a given habitat by analyzing environmental DNA (eDNA) —DNA is released by the organism to its surroundings when they are real show normal activities.

To evaluate the effectiveness of eDNA supercoding in detecting deep sea fish, McClenaghan and colleagues applied it to seawater samples collected from the Labrador Sea at depths up to 2,500 meters. In deep sea water samples (depths 1

,400 meters or more), eDNA supercoding identified 11 families of fish, 11 genera and 8 species. The researchers compared their eDNA supercoding results with those obtained by conventional methods and found that they provide broader coverage of fish diversity and other taxa. while using significantly less logistics effort. These advantages make the eDNA technique an important advance for large-scale surveillance applications.

The team also explored eDNA supercoding using various weights of deep seawater samples and DNA primers – short strands of DNA that were used in lab eDNA analysis to determine which species has. face. Their findings suggest that the deep ocean environment requires some adjustment to methods used in shallower waters, such as using larger amounts of water and using multiple primers to maximize the species discovery.

While the authors plan to further refine the eDNA meta-encoding processes for the unique properties of the deep-sea environment, they note that this approach was able to provide important insights for monitoring the diversity of fish species in the deep ocean.

“Advances in genomics and computational tools are rapidly expanding our biodiversity research and monitoring capabilities, a much-needed task ahead of lip change,” the authors added. Our research shows the utility of eDNA analysis for challenging deep ocean fish species monitoring efforts and sets the stage for stakeholders to adopt this approach. . ”


Use DNA to find fish species


More information:
McClenaghan B, Fahner N, Cote D, Chawarski J, McCarthy A, Rajabi H, et al. (2020) Harness the power of eDNA supercoding to detect deep sea fish species. PLoS ONE 15 (11): e0236540. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0236540

Provided by the Public Science Library

Quote: DNA in seawater could reveal fish diversity in deep ocean (2020, November 4) retrieved November 5, 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2020-11- dna-seawater-reveal-fish-diversity.html

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