Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New Detection Method for Goby Invasion


Conventional methods of stock monitoring are unsuitable for certain fish species. For example, the infestation of an area with invasive Ponto-Caspian gobies cannot be identified in time by standard methods. Researchers at the University of Basel have developed a simple, effective and cost-efficient test for these introduced non-native fish, they report in the magazine PLOS ONE.

Gobies from the Black and Caspian Sea are spreading along the shipping routes in Central Europe and North America. They have been present in the Swiss part of the Rhine for about four years and already dominate the bottom of the stream in the region of Basel. So far, they have not advanced further than the water power plant in Rheinfelden, but a continuing expansion seems inevitable.

Ponto-Caspian goby (Neogobius melanostomus)

University of Basel, Department of Environmental Sciences

Current methods of fish monitoring are not suited to adequately measure the spreading of Ponto-Caspian gobies as they are labor-intensive and not sufficiently sensitive. Accordingly, infestations of an area with gobies are often only discovered when they have reached high densities and efforts of containment remain futile. Researchers of the Department of Environmental Sciences of the University of Basel have now developed a test that allows for the detection of Ponto-Caspian gobies in streaming and stagnant water.

Measuring the environmental DNA

With a commercially available, though slightly modified, water column sampler, water samples are taken from the bottom of the water body, where invasive gobies live. Via feces or scales, the fish release so-called environmental DNA into the stream. The water samples are then analyzed for traces of this so-called eDNA in the lab. The test developed at the University of Basel reacts exclusively to the genetic material of Ponto-Caspian gobies, but not to domestic fish species.

The procedure is less time and cost-intensive than angling, and the samples can even be drawn by untrained individuals. Unlike electrofishing, the method does not impact the fish fauna and can consequently be used in protected zones and breeding grounds.

First test for lotic water

Five species of invasive gobies populate wide areas of freshwater and brackish waters in Central Europe – the species that is most common to the region around Basel, Neogobius melanostomus, even figures among the 100 worst invaders in Europe.

“Our test is one of the first approaches that targets a specific fish species and detects it successfully in flowing freshwater” says the study’s lead author, Dr. Irene Adrian-Kalchhauser. “We hope that our work contributes to establishing eDNA as a standard method in European water resource management. Similar tests have been used for a few years to track the expansion of the Asian carp in the United States.”

Original article
Irene Adrian-Kalchhauser, Patricia Burkhardt-Holm
An eDNA assay to monitor a globally invasive fish species from flowing freshwater
PLOS ONE 11 (1) | doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0147558

Further Information
Dr. Irene Adrian-Kalchhauser, University of Basel, Department of Environmental Sciences, Tel. +41 61 26704 10, email:

Weitere Informationen:

Reto Caluori | Universität Basel

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Gene therapy shows promise for treating Niemann-Pick disease type C1
27.10.2016 | NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute

nachricht 'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape
27.10.2016 | International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>