Evaluation of filter and extraction kits for eDNA-based quantification of Northern pike density

Last changed: 24 May 2021
Image of scientific poster. Author: Ofir Svensson

Ofir Svensson, Ecology and Conservation - Master's Programme in Biology


The new trend in aquatic research is to use environmental DNA (eDNA) as a method to detect fish species from water samples, without seeing or catching a single individual. This is made possible by tracing the DNA that species release into the environment. The popular game fish Northern pike (Esox lucius) is hard to monitor with the standard survey, multi-mesh gillnets, there are difficulties to reliably estimate density and to accurately provide data for reliable status assessments. Quantitative eDNA could be a useful complementary tool if it can provide reliable estimates of pike density. This project tried to investigate the possibility to detect differences in Northern pike density, using eDNA as a quantitative method, with three different extraction kits and two different filter types. The results revealed that it was possible to separate different pike densities, regardless of filter combination and extraction kits. The experiment also revealed that adding a GF/A filter to a CN filter did not yield more compared to what a single CN filter retrieved. This facilitates future studies due to faster filtration when using one filter and not two. Moreover, the experiment showed that Chelex as an extraction method yielded the most eDNA compared to the other two kits: Blood and Tissue and PowerWater. Although there are several questions to address before eDNA can practically be used for monitoring pike.


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Image of scientific poster. Author: Ofir Svensson

About me

Ofir Svensson. Private photo.

Ofir Svensson

I study at Uppsala University but did my thesis at SLU Aqua because of the ePIKE project that works with eDNA, which I hope that I can work with in the future. I am a conservation biologist with a focus on terrestrial habitats. I hope that eDNA can become a standard form of monitoring tool in the future.