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Low-Cost DNA Technique Detects Stream Amphibians

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Gyrinophilus gulolineatus; Photo by: Brad Glorioso
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Town Branch Creek; Photo by: Cressler

By: Goldberg CS; Pilliod DS; Arkle RS; Waits LP; August 12, 2011

Streams harbor many secretive and rare species that are difficult to find and study. Under the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative, USGS scientists and their partners developed and demonstrated an efficient protocol for detecting the DNA of stream-dwelling amphibians that occur in low density in fast-moving water. The simple protocol is widely applicable to inventory and monitoring efforts across large watersheds, and could revolutionize surveys for various stream-dwelling amphibians the way that sampling fur for the DNA has for elusive mammals. (David Pilliod is a scientist and frequent ARMI collaborator at the Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, USGS)

Results were published in: Goldberg CS, Pilliod DS, Arkle RS, Waits LP (2011) Molecular Detection of Vertebrates in Stream Water: A Demonstration Using Rocky Mountain Tailed Frogs and Idaho Giant Salamanders. PLoS ONE 6(7): e22746. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0022746.

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