Using DNA to distinguish between faeces of Dugong dugon and Chelonia mydas: non-invasive sampling for IUCN-listed marine megafauna

Tol, S.J., Harrison, M., Groom, R., Gilbert, J., Blair, D., Coles, R., and Congdon, B.C (2021) Using DNA to distinguish between faeces of Dugong dugon and Chelonia mydas: non-invasive sampling for IUCN-listed marine megafauna. Conservation Genetics Resources, 13. pp. 115-117.

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Abstract

The Dugong dugon (dugong) and Chelonia mydas (green sea turtle) are economically and culturally significant marine mega-herbivores whose populations are declining globally. Capture of these animals for study is challenging and stressful for the animals. Ecological questions can be answered using faeces, which can be collected floating on the water’s surface. However, green turtle and dugong faeces are visually indistinguishable. Specific PCR primer pairs were developed based on the mitochondrial control region of each species. We were able to determine species of origin using DNA extracted, amplified and sequenced from faeces. This provides a valuable tool for non-invasive taxonomic identification to assist the conservation of these vulnerable and endangered species.

Item ID: 65821
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1877-7260
Keywords: Dugong dugon, Chelonia mydas, Dugong, Green sea turtle, Stool, Faeces, Control region, Genomic, Species identification
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Copyright Information: © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V. part of Springer Nature 2021.
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A version of this publication was included as Chapter 3 of the following PhD thesis: Tol, Samantha (2020) Relative importance of different seagrass re-establishment strategies in tropical Queensland, Australia. PhD thesis, James Cook University, which is available Open Access in ResearchOnline@JCU. Please see the Related URLs for access.

Funders: Queensland Government National Environmental Science Program (NESP)
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2021 05:43
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3105 Genetics > 310599 Genetics not elsewhere classified @ 50%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
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