Experiments with pike 2019
Laboratory experiment with juvenile pike
The objective of this experiment was to:
- Obtain eDNA-samples from pike to identify suitable primers (mtDNA, COI and 5S rDNA ITS)
- Estimate DNA shedding and degradation rates
- Determine the DNA-biomass relationship under controlled and nearly optimal conditions
Juvenile pike where caught in collaboration with the Swedish Angling Association “Sportfiskarna” in a nearby wetland in June 2019 and transported to aquaria at the institute of freshwater research, SLU, Drottningholm. After an acclimation period, we conducted a small scale experiment where different densities of juvenile pike (0, 1, 3, 9 individuals, 3 replicates each) were incubated in aquaria containing 15L filtered lake water. Water temperature and other environmental variables were monitored continuously. eDNA samples were collected by filtration through a 1.2 µm nitrocellulose filter at seven time points (before the addition of pike, during the incubation and after removal of pike).
Preliminary results from the experiment
Juvenile pike collected from the wild were successfully kept under laboratory conditions (in accordance with ethical permits). Individual isolation in Whitman-Vibert-boxes proved to be an effective method to prevent injuries and cannibalism when several individuals were kept together. The preliminary studies have provided valuable information and practical experience in stress-mitigation and survival of juvenile pike under laboratory conditions. Work analysing eDNA samples from the experiment and design of new 5S rDNA primer pairs is ongoing in collaboration with the Estonian University of Life Sciences in Tartu. .
During 2019 we have conducted a comprehensive literature review which will be useful in the development of laboratory protocols and experimental designs.