open calls

DNA-based monitoring for assessing the effect of invasive species on aquatic communities in the Amazon basin of Ecuador.

Ongoing

We propose to develop a fast, DNA-based monitoring system, enabling the early detection of invasive fish and its effects on aquatic communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon river basin. This will be done through the optimizing of the nanopore Next-Generation sequencing (NGS) technique (MinION) enabling the biomonitoring of tropical aquatic environments. The general objective is to make it possible to detect invasive fish in Ecuadorian river basins in an early phase, enabling accurate early stage eradication of invasive fish and thereby enabling more sustainable fish farming. We aim to 1) develop a technique based on rapid DNA extractions, combined with the MinION Technology for the detection of invasive fish in real time and 2) incorporate new DNA sequences of amphibians, macroinvertebrates and fishes into the Ecuadorian DNA database. We focus our project on building capacities by improving MinION skills for the early detection of invasive fish species and their effect on aquatic communities. We strengthen capacities of staff and students (local and Belgian) through thesis, practical courses, field work, trainings and internships. This fast detection of invasive species might facilitate their eradication, the prevention of their further spreading easier, and promotes more effective aquatic ecosystem conservation actions. DNA-based monitoring for assessing the effect of invasive species on aquatic communities in the Amazon basin of Ecuador.

Intervention type

South Initiatives

Duration

01/01/2020 - 31/12/2021

This project is being implemented in:
Flemish promoter Christine Van der Heyden
Local promoter Jorge Celi
Local partner institution Hogeschool Gent
visit www.hogent.be
Local partner institution Universidad Regional Amazónica IKIAM
visit http://www.ikiam.edu.ec/index.php/en/
Other Flemish Partners KU Leuven
visit www.kuleuven.be
Universiteit Antwerpen
visit www.uantwerpen.be
Universiteit Gent
visit www.ugent.be
Provinciaal Centrum voor Milieuonderzoek
Other local partners Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral
Budget € 69.926