Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Development of eDNA techniques for detection of endangered purple cat's paw pearlymussel and snuffbox


April 2014 - December 2018


The goal of this study is to initiate the development of eDNA techniques for detection of presence/absence of the endangered unionid mussels: purple cat’s paw pearlymussel Epioblasma obliquata obliquata and snuffbox Epioblasma triquetra. Our specific objectives are to: 1) develop a set of species-specific PCR and qPCR markers for the two species and other extant species in Epioblasma (n = 11 total extant species per Musselp Database; http://mussel-project.; 2) determine the critical threshold detection limit of qPCR for the developed markers using known amounts of DNA; and 3) determine the realized detection probabilities by testing water samples collected from known areas where the two target species occur and areas where they are not thought to occur using the developed qPCR molecular markers.


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 2

Masters Students: 10

Phd Students: 0

Post Docs: 0

University Staff: 6

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 12

Scientific Publications: 32

Presentations: 114



  • Wes LarsonNon-PI Collaborator
  • Brian SlossPrincipal Investigator

Funding Agencies

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey
  2. University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
  3. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources