Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Advanced molecular-based surveillance of quagga and zebra mussels: a review of environmental DNA/RNA (eDNA/erna) studies and considerations for future directions.

Abstract

Sensitive methods, capable of rapidly and accurately detecting aquatic invasive species, are in demand. Molecular-based approaches, such as environmental DNA (eDNA) surveys, satisfy these requirements and have grown in popularity. As such, eDNA surveys could aid the effort to combat the colonisation and spread of two notoriously invasive freshwater mussel species, the quagga mussel (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis) and zebra mussel (D. polymorpha), through improved surveillance ability. Here, we provide a review of dreissenid eDNA literature (both grey and published), summarising efforts involved in the development of various assays for use in multiple different technologies (e.g. quantitative PCR, high-throughput sequencing and loop-mediated isothermal amplification) and sampling scenarios. We discuss important discoveries made along the way, including novel revelations involving environmental RNA (eRNA), as well as the advantages and limitations of available methods and instrumentation. In closing, we highlight critical remaining gaps, where further investigation could lead to advancements in dreissenid monitoring capacity.