Monitoring and Surveillance of Marine Invasive Species in Californian Waters by DNA Barcoding: Methodological and Analytical Solutions

Tracy Lynn Campbell1, Jonathan B Geller1, Philip Heller1, Gregory Ruiz2, Andrew Chang2, Linda McCann2, Lina Ceballos2, Michelle Marraffini2, Gail Ashton2, Kristen Larson2, Stacey Havard2, Kristin Meagher1, Melinda Wheelock1, Catherine Drake1 and Gillian Rhett1, (1)Moss Landing Marine Laboratory, Moss Landing, CA, United States, (2)Smithsonian, SERC, Edgewater, MD, United States
The Ballast Water Management Act, the Marine Invasive Species Act, and the Coastal Ecosystem Protection Act require the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to monitor and evaluate the extent of biological invasions in the state’s marine and estuarine waters. This has been performed statewide, using a variety of methodologies. Conventional sample collection and processing is laborious, slow and costly, and may require considerable taxonomic expertise requiring detailed time-consuming microscopic study of multiple specimens. These factors limit the volume of biomass that can be searched for introduced species. New technologies continue to reduce the cost and increase the throughput of genetic analyses, which become efficient alternatives to traditional morphological analysis for identification, monitoring and surveillance of marine invasive species. Using next-generation sequencing of mitochondrial Cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and nuclear large subunit ribosomal RNA (LSU), we analyzed over 15,000 individual marine invertebrates collected in Californian waters. We have created sequence databases of California native and non-native species to assist in molecular identification and surveillance in North American waters. Metagenetics, the next-generation sequencing of environmental samples with comparison to DNA sequence databases, is a faster and cost-effective alternative to individual sample analysis. We have sequenced from biomass collected from whole settlement plates and plankton in California harbors, and used our introduced species database to create species lists. We can combine these species lists for individual marinas with collected environmental data, such as temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen to understand the ecology of marine invasions. Here we discuss high throughput sampling, sequencing, and COASTLINE, our data analysis answer to challenges working with hundreds of millions of sequencing reads from tens of thousands of specimens.