Freshman Shipmate Emma Roggenbuck is doing incredible research about fish species in the Great Lakes! Using DNA Barcoding they determine the different species of larval fish from Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. To read more about the amazing work she is doing see a full description below. Great work Emma!
Overfishing and habitat destruction have both led to a decline in the population of Cisco – Coregonus artedi – and other Coregonus species in the Great Lakes. Historically, these species has been important to the Great Lakes ecosystem, and now there is interest in restoring certain populations. To do so, monitoring early-life histories of larval fish is crucial. However, due to the nature of many Coregonius species, it is nearly impossible to determine the species of a sample based solely on traditional morphological techniques. So, we are using DNA Barcoding to determine the species of various larval fish samples from the Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. At the lab, we extract mitochondrial DNA from larval fish samples, amplify a certain region of DNA using PCR, and send successful amplifications to the University of Michigan Advanced Genomics Core to be sequenced. If all goes well, we will then be able to determine the species of the sample by cross referencing the DNA sequence in a genetic database.