Analysis of environmental DNA from sediments for detection of invasive dreissenid mussels

The proposed work will test the utility of DNA analysis on sediments for detection of low abundance populations of invasive dreissenid mussels. Many reservoirs considered to be at low risk for establishment of invasive dreissenid mussels are sampled infrequently due to allocation of limited resources. Such infrequent sampling decreases the probability of detecting an introduction of mussels should it occur. Because DNA is expected to have a longer persistence in sediments that in open water, sampling and analysis of sediments should provide an additional means for detection of invasive dreissenid introductions in infrequently samples waters.