Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Next-generation gene sequencing can identify invasive carp species

Date:
October 17, 2013
Source:
University of Illinois College of Engineering
Summary:
A project to map the microbes present in the digestive systems of fish species holds promise for monitoring the presence of Asian carp in Chicago area waterways and ultimately preventing their spread, according to a study.

Gizzard Shad
Credit: University of Illinois

A project to map the microbes present in the digestive systems of fish species holds promise for monitoring the presence of Asian carp in Chicago area waterways and ultimately preventing their spread, according to a study published in Nature's ISME Journal. The work, funded through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, is being conducted by researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Related Articles


Asian carp is a term used to refer to several invasive fish species including silver, bighead and black carp. Bighead carp and silver carp have already invaded much of the Mississippi River basin, where they compete for food with native species and dominate aquatic communities. Bighead carp and silver carp are considered one of the most severe aquatic invasive species threats facing the Great Lakes today, according to the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC). The ACRCC is coordinating the efforts of federal, state, local and private resource management agencies to develop an Asian carp control program. Efforts to control the fish include research to understand their physiology and behavior and how they differ from that of native species, with an eye toward developing effective monitoring and management systems.

Gut microbiota -- the microbial communities present in the digestive tracts of living things -- are unique, according to Wen-Tso Liu, co-author of the study and a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Illinois. For that reason, careful analysis of fish gut microbiota can reveal host-specific biomarkers shed in fish feces that indicate the presence of a specific species, promising the development of precise monitoring systems. Since fish feces are plentiful in waterways, monitoring could be easier than with techniques that have focused on detecting the DNA of the targeted species in sloughed-off skin tissue, Liu says.

The researchers used a next-generation gene sequencing technology called 16S pyrosequencing, which focuses on the 16S rRNA gene sequences, to analyze the gut microbiota of the invasive silver carp and the native gizzard shad. They successfully discovered potential biomarkers for silver carp and are working to refine them, Liu says.

In addition, the research illuminated some important similarities and differences in the species. For example, he says, gizzard shad harbor microbial communities that are 10 times more diverse than that of silver carp, showing that their digestive processes are significantly more complicated. The researchers also discovered a common food-source microbe, which proves that the fish compete for the same food.

"This is why invasive species can be dangerous," he says. "They can eat the same food, and if the invasive species consumes more food, then the native species can be out-competed and their population will start to decline, leading to ecological disaster."

On the strength of these findings, the researchers are beginning an extensive project to confirm their findings in the fish species in the Chicago River -- approximately 50 different ones -- in order to map their gut microbiota and develop biomarkers for each species. The results will lead to a precise monitoring methodology, but the benefits will likely extend further, Liu says.

"There is a lot more beyond just monitoring," Liu says. "We will also learn more about the diversity of fish, their diets, how their diets are related to their gut microbiota and how they metabolize inside the gut."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois College of Engineering. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lin Ye, Jon Amberg, Duane Chapman, Mark Gaikowski, Wen-Tso Liu. Fish gut microbiota analysis differentiates physiology and behavior of invasive Asian carp and indigenous American fish. The ISME Journal, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/ismej.2013.181

Cite This Page:

University of Illinois College of Engineering. "Next-generation gene sequencing can identify invasive carp species." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131017114329.htm>.
University of Illinois College of Engineering. (2013, October 17). Next-generation gene sequencing can identify invasive carp species. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131017114329.htm
University of Illinois College of Engineering. "Next-generation gene sequencing can identify invasive carp species." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131017114329.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) For the first time Monterey Bay Aquarium recorded a video of the elusive, creepy and rarely seen anglerfish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Around the World Take Flight

Birds Around the World Take Flight

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 22, 2014) An imperial eagle equipped with a camera spreads its wings over London. It's just one of the many birds making headlines in this week's "animal roundup". Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins