Environmental DNA (eDNA) techniques are gaining attention as cost-effective, non-invasive strategies for acquiring information on fish and other aquatic organisms from water samples. Currently, eDNA approaches are used to detect specific fish species and determine fish community diversity. Various protocols used with eDNA methods for aquatic organism detection have been reported in different eDNA studies, but there are no general recommendations for fish detection. Herein, we reviewed 168 papers to supplement and highlight the key criteria for each step of eDNA technology in fish detection and provide general suggestions for eliminating detection errors. Although there is no unified recommendation for the application of diverse eDNA in detecting fish species, in most cases, 1 or 2 L surface water collection and eDNA capture on 0.7-μm glass fiber filters followed by extraction with a DNeasy Blood and Tissue Kit or PowerWater DNA Isolation Kit are useful for obtaining high-quality eDNA. Subsequently, species-specific quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assays based on mitochondrial cytochrome b gene markers or eDNA metabarcoding based on both 12S
and 16S rRNA
markers via high-throughput sequencing can effectively detect target DNA or estimate species richness. Furthermore, detection errors can be minimized by mitigating contamination, negative control, PCR replication, and using multiple genetic markers. Our aim is to provide a useful strategy for fish eDNA technology that can be applied by researchers, advisors, and managers.
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