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Genome BC to Fund Development of Freshwater Fish DNA Library

NEW YORK — Genome British Columbia said on Wednesday that it will provide approximately C$250,000 (US$190,640) over the next two years to fund the development of a reference DNA library for all known freshwater fish species in the Canadian province.

According to Genome BC, the resource — which will include both native and invasive fish species and be assembled by a team led by Fisheries and Oceans Canada scientists Cathryn Abbott and Kristen Westfall — will enable the use of sequenced environmental DNA (eDNA) to develop accurate species lists for a given sampled area.

As part of the effort, the team will use eDNA sampling and the DNA library to survey fish in British Columbia's interior that are protected under Canada's Species at Risk Act in order to map the animals' distributions and detect invasive species.

"Generating highest quality reference data requires a significant investment, and yet this will pay great dividends in the long run," Abbott said in a statement. "These data are an essential backbone for leveraging the promise of eDNA methods for monitoring aquatic environments."