DEVELOPMENT OF SPECIES-SPECIFIC PRIMERS FOR DETECTION OF CAVE CRAYFISH USING ENVIRONMENTAL DNA (eDNA)
The state of Alabama is a hotspot for crayfish biodiversity, with over ninety-seven species, including eight obligate cave-dwelling species. Seven of these cave species are recognized as being of high or highest conservation concern by the state of Alabama, two of which are of unknown status and possibly extinct. To advocate for and implement enhanced conservation measures, accurate accounts of location-specific presence/absence are necessary. Unfortunately, the nature of caves presents a number of obstacles for the attainment of accurate survey results. Species detection through collection and analysis of environmental DNA (eDNA) may be a key part of the solution to this problem. To accomplish this task, seven species-specific and two genus-wide primers are in the process of being developed and verified using polymerase chain reaction and Sanger sequencing. These products will allow two environmental DNA sampling methods to be compared based on their ability to facilitate successful detection of crayfish species known to inhabit certain cave systems of Alabama. Additionally, the presence of crayfish in caves with unknown communities may be revealed.
Nathaniel D. Sturm (Primary Presenter/Author,Co-Presenter/Co-Author), The University of Alabama, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Kevin M. Kocot (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), The University of Alabama, email@example.com;
Matthew L. Niemiller (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), The University of Alabama in Huntsville, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Alexander D. Huryn (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), The University of Alabama, email@example.com;