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A USGS scientist from the Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center had discussed on a BioScience podcast about a USGS project called READI-Net that uses aquatic invasive species DNA to help with their early detection. 

eDNA sampler hidden among vegetation along a Montana stream. Arrow superimposed on image shows sampler.
An environmental DNA (eDNA) sampler discretely placed among streamside vegetation in Montana. An arrow is superimposed on the image to point out the eDNA sampler.

Biological threats, such as invasive species, pathogens, and parasites, can have costly ecological and economic impacts on America’s lands and waters. Preventing the establishment of disruptive species is the focus of the Department of the Interior’s National Early Detection Rapid Response (EDRR) Framework, which provides guidance and recommendations for managing biological threats in the United States. The cornerstone of this strategy is the early detection of biological threats like invasive species as they invade new habitats and ecosystems before they become established and ecologically and economically disruptive. Invasive species that do become well established or widespread can make control efforts expensive and eradication unfeasible (DOI, 2016). A USGS scientist from the Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center (NOROCK) was provided an opportunity to discuss a USGS project that can help managers with the early detection of biological threats using environmental DNA (eDNA)—DNA shed by organisms into the environment.

BioScience Talks podcast aired an in-depth interview with NOROCK’s Adam Sepulveda about a USGS project called “Rapid eDNA Assessment and Deployment Initiative & Network” (READI-Net). READI-Net supports the Department of the Interior’s EDRR Framework by utilizing eDNA sampling for the early detection and monitoring of aquatic biological threats. Adam discussed a wide range of topics related to eDNA and READI-Net. The interview provided the audience the basics of READI-Net, which includes providing managers, partners, and stakeholders the tools and support they need to sample consistently across space and time for the early detection of invasive species. 

To educate the audience about READI-Net, a variety of topics were discussed during the podcast. One topic was the focus of READI-Net to optimize eDNA autosamplers so that they are easier to use in the field, easier to fix, more robust, and more affordable so READI-Net autosamplers are more accessible to managers, partners, stakeholders, and scientists. Adam also discussed the benefits of using autosamplers compared to human sampling, utility of networking samplers, lab networking to execute laboratory workflows, and the process of eDNA sampling among other topics. The podcast is available on YouTube and on the AIBS BioScience Talks website and is a great introduction to READI-Net. More information about READI-Net can be found on the NOROCK website.


For More information about READI-Net:

Adam Sepulveda, PhD, USGS Biologist, Lead READI-Net Investigator

USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center


A graphic depiction of the six components of READI-Net each represented by an interlocking hexagon
The 6 components that comprise READI-Net are each represented by an interlocking hexagon, illustrating the multi-dimensional aspect of the project including: Autonomous eDNA samplers, Broad spectrum surveillance, Where & when to sample, Lab analysis standards, Information framework, and Communication.

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