Environmental DNA in the Gulf of California

In collaboration with Dr. Adrián Munguia-Vega, this project aims to map the biodiversity of bony fish, sharks and rays, and marine mammals throughout the Gulf of California.  At the same time, the spatial heterogeneity of environmental DNA in marine systems will be explored.

Samples were taken in October and November of 2016, and some sites were repeated in 2019.

Sampling involves four water replicates per site, and two sediment samples per site.  DNA was extracted and amplified with three different primers, MiFish Universal primers for bony fish, MiFish Elasmobranch for sharks and rays, and MiMammal for marine mammals.  Each primer targets different versions of the same region of the mitochondrial 12S gene.  Amplifications with the multiplexed primer cocktail were done six times per sample so that rare species were hopefully not missed, and then the samples were sent for sequencing.

Results from data analysis coming soon in a publication in preparation!

This project will help to inform marine reserve design and will also be useful in partnering with local stakeholders to acquire data about biodiversity and marine reserve effectiveness.

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