IN-SITU DETECTION OF THE INVASIVE AMPHIBIAN CHYTRID FUNGUS: FIELD DNA EXTRACTION AND ANALYSIS USING A HANDHELD THERMOCYCLER.
Colleen D. Kamoroff; Yosemite National Park ; 5083 Foresta Rd, El Portal , CA, 95318; (209) 379-1920; colleen_kamoroff@nps.gov; Rob L. Grasso, Caren S. Goldberg
The amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis or Bd, is an invasive skin disease associated with mass mortality and extinction of amphibians worldwide. In the Sierra Nevada, two endangered yellow-legged frogs, Rana sierrae and R. muscosa, are highly susceptible to Bd and have experience dramatic declines and extirpations due in part to the disease. Yosemite National Park is monitoring and managing yellow-legged frog populations by testing and treating for Bd as part of species recovery efforts. During the 2018 field season, Yosemite piloted Biomeme's mobile qPCR platform for onsite results from Bd samples. We visited three known Bd positive sites, swabbed yellow-legged frog and collected environmental DNA (eDNA) filtered water samples. We collected samples in duplicate and analyzed the samples using traditional DNA extraction and qPCR methods as well as Biomeme's in-situ DNA extraction and handheld thermocycler. We detected Bd DNA consistently for all yellow-legged frog swabs and some eDNA samples using in-situ methods. All results from Biomeme's extraction and analysis methods were available within an hour after sampling. This is the first method for rapid field testing of Bd which will likely have strong implications for future management or species recovery efforts.
Yosemite Restoration I