Australian DNA age test for fish to revolutionize population management

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, June 24, 2021
Adjust font size:

CANBERRA, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Researchers from Australia's national science agency have developed a non-lethal test to determine the age of fish.

The team from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) revealed the new DNA test on Thursday, saying it could significantly improve the management of wild fish populations.

Ben Mayne, a research fellow from CSIRO's Environomics Future Science Platform, said the test was a non-lethal alternative to counting growth rings on the ear bones of fish to reveal their age.

"We developed a fast, cost-effective DNA test for use with three threatened Australian freshwater species, the Australian lungfish, the Murray cod and the Mary River cod, which can also be adapted for other fish species," he said in a media release.

"Knowing the ages of fish in a population is vital for their management, such as setting sustainable harvests or determining whether a species is at risk of extinction as well as understanding growth and reproduction of a species.

"We're now hoping to share this test with fisheries managers to support conservation projects and sustainable fisheries worldwide."

The test was trialed with zebrafish before being calibrated for threatened species.

Researchers found it was effective for zebrafish and Australian lungfish despite the species being separated by more than 100 million years of evolution.

David Roberts, a senior research scientist at Queensland government agency Seqwater, has been studying lungfish for over a decade.

"The search for a method to age Australian lungfish has been costly and technologically challenging," he said on Thursday.

"This breakthrough DNA-based ageing method will advance our understanding of lungfish population dynamics, providing a low cost, accurate and simple method that will improve conservation efforts long into the future." Enditem

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from