Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Biosurveillance for invasive insect pest species using an environmental DNA metabarcoding approach and a high salt trap collection fluid.

Abstract

1. With the increase in global trade and warming patterns, the movement, introduction, and establishment of non-native insect species has increased. A rapid and effective early detection biosurveillance program to identify species of concern is needed to reduce future impacts and costs associated with introduced non-native species. One of the challenges facing insect surveillance trapping methods is the sheer volume of individual specimens in the collections. Although molecular identification methods are improving, they currently have limitations (e.g., destructive processing of specimens) and a protocol addressing these limitations can support regulatory applications that need morphological evidence to corroborate molecular data. 2. The novel protocol presented here uses a metabarcoding approach to amplify environmental DNA from a saturated salt solution trap fluid, which retains trap specimens for downstream morphological identifications. The use of a saturated salt solution to preserve specimens in traps addresses issues with the high evaporation rate of ethanol in traps, and public safety concerns with other fluid preservation options with unattended traps in public settings. 3. Using a metabarcoding approach, a 407-nucleotide segment of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI) animal barcode region was successfully amplified from Lindgren funnel trap collection fluids. These traps were placed in forested areas to survey for wood-boring beetles of regulatory concern. 4. Our results displayed successful amplification of target taxa, including the molecular identification of the Japanese Beetle Popillia japonica, a species regulated in Canada. A second species, Anisandrus maiche, recently introduced to North America, was identified in every trap. The genus Lymantria, which contains numerous species of concern to North American woodlands, was also detected. Also, there were six other species identified of interest due to their potential impacts on native and crop flora and fauna. Our results show how this protocol can be used as an efficient method for the surveillance of insects using a trap with a saturated salt solution and eDNA metabarcoding to detect species of regulatory concern.