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Tracking the southern river terrapin (Batagur affinis) through environmental DNA: prospects and challenges

Wilson, John-James; Sing, Kong-Wah; Chen, Pelf-Nyok; Zieritz, Alexandra

Authors

John-James Wilson

Kong-Wah Sing

Pelf-Nyok Chen



Abstract

Environmental DNA detection has emerged as a powerful tool to monitor aquatic species without the need for capture or visual identification and is particularly useful for rare or elusive species. Our objective was to develop an eDNA approach for detecting the southern river terrapin (Batagur affinis) in Malaysia. We designed species-specific primers for a fragment of B. affinis mtDNA and evaluated their effectiveness in silico, in vitro and in situ. The primers amplified 110 bp of the cytochrome b mtDNA sequence of B. affinis from aquarium water samples housing nine juvenile B. affinis. We also successfully detected B. affinis eDNA from river samples taken from a site where turtles were known to be in the vicinity. Prospects and challenges of using an eDNA approach to help determine the distribution of B. affinis, essential information for an effective conservation plan, are discussed.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Aug 18, 2018
Journal Mitochondrial DNA Part A
Print ISSN 2470-1394
Electronic ISSN 2470-1408
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 29
Issue 6
Pages 862-866
APA6 Citation Wilson, J., Sing, K., Chen, P., & Zieritz, A. (2018). Tracking the southern river terrapin (Batagur affinis) through environmental DNA: prospects and challenges. Mitochondrial DNA Part A, 29(6), 862-866. doi:10.1080/24701394.2017.1373109
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/24701394.2017.1373109
Keywords Genetics; Molecular Biology
Publisher URL https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/24701394.2017.1373109?journalCode=imdn21
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