Here, we repurpose the eDNA samples previously collected from commercial bait shops in the search for Great Lakes invasive fish species and analyze them using similar methods to those employed by Smith et al. Samples were chosen for analyses based on two factors: Despite this possibility, and previous recognition of the importance of the bait trade in the spread of aquatic invasive species AIS , to date there has been no region wide survey documenting pathogens in retail bait shops.
Despite this possibility, and previous recognition of the importance of the bait trade in the spread of aquatic invasive species AIS , to date there has been no region wide survey documenting pathogens in retail bait shops. These findings suggest that the bait trade represents a potentially important pathway that could introduce and spread pathogens throughout the Great Lakes region. While VHSV is a known pathogen already in the Great Lakes region, the identities and impact of other pathogens are largely unknown. All samples for this study were collected and analyzed using previously described quality assurance protocols Mahon et al. Our goal was to identify pathogenic species present in the samples, compare the diversity and abudance of bait shop sourced pathogens to Great Lake sourced pathogens, and evaluate the potential threat of unique, bait sourced pathogens being spread in the Laurentian Great Lakes in a manner similar to that documented for invasive species. Our hypothesis was that if invasive species are in a bait tank, then the water would contain DNA from sloughed tissue, cells, and organelles in the water, which could be filtered, extracted, and screened using molecular tools to detect the invasive species Ficetola et al. This raises the question, what pathogens are found in the bait bucket water? Improving pathogen screening and angler outreach should be used in combination to aid in preventing the future spread of high risk pathogens. The damages become more acute when the pathogens in question are generalists and spread throughout a valuable fishery, such as with viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus VHSV spread throughout the Laurentian Great Lakes Rothlisberger et al. Because our previous collection site numbers i. In the summers of and , we visited over bait shops across the U. This is particularly alarming when commercial bait retailers are contaminated with invasive fish, such as Goldfish Carassius auratus , Round Goby Neogobius melanostomus , Eurasian Rudd Scardinius erythrophthalmus , and Silver Carp Hypophthalmichthys molitrix Nathan et al. Samples were chosen for analyses based on two factors: In this study, we analyzed 96 environmental DNA samples from retail bait shops around the Great Lakes region to identify pathogens, targeting the V4 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene. As such, it is reasonable to suspect that water which contains bait fish could also serve as a reservoir for pathogenic bacterial species. Additional to our initial hypotheses, these extracted eDNA samples also contain DNA from all organisms in the water, including potential pathogens, similar to those evaluated by Smith et al. Received May 29; Accepted Jul Compared to wild sourced samples, the bait shops had higher relative abundance and greater taxonomic diversity. Here, we repurpose the eDNA samples previously collected from commercial bait shops in the search for Great Lakes invasive fish species and analyze them using similar methods to those employed by Smith et al. Additionally, the diversity of pathogens within wild and cultured baitfish is well studied Goodwin et al. Additionally, we used samples from one site in Lake Michigan as a comparison to pathogen diversity and abundance in natural aquatic systems. Methods Sample collection and DNA extraction Two-liter water samples were collected from the bait holding tanks in commercial bait shops from each of the states in the Laurentian Great Lakes basin Table 1 ; Fig. Abstract The recreational bait trade is a potential pathway for pathogen introduction and spread when anglers dump bait shop sourced water into aquatic systems. Upon consideration of those factors, samples were then randomly chosen for inclusion in this study. However, this angling behavior has the potential to introduce more than just invasive fish species into new areas. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed.
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