DNADIVE – New research project on invasive crayfish

See also the project web page at https://faune-flore.lu/dnadive/

DNADIVE aims at developing a molecular toolbox enabling eDNA detection for Invasive crayfish in streams of Luxembourg. This Public2 Partnership project has been accepted by FNR in November 2017 and will start on 1st January 2018. The project will be hosted by Fondation faune-flore and it’s principal investigator will be the French researcher Dr David Porco. Project partnership: Luxembourg National Museum of Natural History (MNHNL), Luxembourg Institute of Science & Technology (LIST), Water management Agency (AGE), Ministry for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure (MDDI), University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany).


DNADIVE aims at developing a toolbox for the molecular monitoring of invasive crayfish in the streams of Luxembourg. Three exotic species (Orconectes limosus, Pacifastacus leniusculus and Astacus leptodactylus) and a native one (Astacus astacus) will be targeted for the project.

This molecular toolbox will encompass several techniques of detection comprising (1) a simple amplification method easily performed in a laboratory with few elements, (2) a digital droplet amplification (ddPCR) which is a more elaborated lab method that can allow for a higher detection sensitivity and a possible quantification of DNA that could be related through the proxy of biomass and abundance to the size of the populations detected and (3) an isotherm amplification method (iPCR) i.e. a simple, cost effective approach which will allow for a field detection usable by non-trained agents.

The results will enable the development of a predictive species distribution model for the target species and to infer their impact on freshwater communities through the comparison with previous sampling campaigns. This set of methods has the high potential to efficiently contribute to early detection and routine monitoring of the invasive crayfish species in Luxembourg, thus allowing for a timely and efficient decision-making and appropriate management.