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A blocking primer increases specificity in environmental DNA detection of bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus)
- Wilcox, Taylor M., Schwartz, Michael K., McKelvey, Kevin S., Young, Michael K., Lowe, Winsor H.
- Conservation genetics resources 2014 v.6 no.2 pp. 283-284
- DNA, Salvelinus confluentus, Salvelinus namaycush, animals, diet
- Environmental DNA (eDNA) is increasingly applied as a highly sensitive way to detect aquatic animals non-invasively. However, distinguishing closely related taxa can be particularly challenging. Previous studies of ancient DNA and genetic diet analysis have used blocking primers to enrich target template in the presence of abundant, non-target DNA. Here we apply a blocking primer to increase the specificity of a TaqMan assay for eDNA detection of rare and endangered bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) in the presence of the closely related (Salvelinus namaycush). We found that addition of a blocking primer substantially increased assay specificity without compromising sensitivity or quantification ability.