Dr. Alexey Nikitin


Asian carp is an invasive species that is a threat to the Great Lakes ecosystem and economy in Michigan. Early detection of invasive species is the first step in controlling the threat. Environmental deoxyribose nucleic acid (eDNA) analysis is becoming a popular detection method that is faster and easier than live specimen capture. In this study, water from Lake Michigan was collected and DNA isolation was performed. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and gel electrophoresis were used to identify any Asian carp DNA within the water samples. All samples proved negative for Asian carp DNA. Further samples should be collected from locations closer to Chicago, where Asian carp are already present. Samples should also be collected from large rivers connected to Lake Michigan, as these would be ideal habitats for these fish. While this study has not found evidence of Asian carp in Lake Michigan, eDNA analysis will still continue to prove useful in detection and maintenance of invasive species.