"Thus, these nanoparticles grow in size in the presence of a target species, such as a dangerous invasive species, but don't in the presence of other species" Egan said. "In addition to the sensitivity of LTS, it is also advantageous because the device fits in a small suitcase and can operate off a car battery in the field, such as a point of entry at the border of the U.S."
The Notre Dame researchers demonstrated the work with manipulative experiments in the lab for five high-risk invasive species and also in the field, using lakes already infested with an invasive mussel, Dreissena polymorpha or the zebra mussel.
"Our work implies that eDNA sampling and LTS could enable rapid species detection in the field in the context of research, voluntary or regulatory surveillance and management actions to lower the risk of the introduction or spread of harmful species," Egan said. "In the Great Lakes alone, 180 nonindigenous species have been established since European settlement, with about 70 percent arriving through the ballast tanks of transoceanic ships. Ballast water monitoring is one of many potential applications for LTS with ramifications for environmental protection, public health and economic health."
|Contact: Scott Egan|
University of Notre Dame