Restricted Research - Award List, Note/Discussion Page

Fiscal Year: 2013

298  Texas State University  (19849)

Principal Investigator: Dr Michael R Forstner

Total Amount of Contract, Award, or Gift (Annual before 2011): $ 320,000

Exceeds $250,000 (Is it flagged?): Yes

Start and End Dates: 4/1/13 <> 9/30/14

Restricted Research: YES

Academic Discipline: College of Science & Engineering

Department, Center, School, or Institute: Biology


Name of Granting or Contracting Agency/Entity: Margaret A. Cargill Foundation

Program Title: none


The projects proposed by the SciCap-TxSt-IFReDI collaboration will support a long-term effort to over-haul the monitoring practices, and provide training and on-going support for consistently accurate data collection that can be used to assess and manage the fisheries. The joint strategy will target both improvement in the national government capacity for fisheries management and the development of community awareness and engagement in that management. Together with biannual independent surveys conducted by external technical experts employed by SciCap, these combined data collection activities will internally verify the consistency and accuracy of the data collected and will reduce the likelihood of ill-informed or agenda-driven management decisions. DNA bar coding can help resolve some logistical issues that make the monitoring and regulation of freshwater fisheries of the Mekong very difficult. DNA bar coding is a relatively recently developed diagnostic technique in which short DNA sequence(s) can be used for species identification. The application of these species-specific molecular ‘bar codes’ can be used for taxonomic confirmation and discovery of Mekong fish, identification of fish species by non-taxonomic experts (and non-molecular geneticists through the use of commercially available genetic services), identification of early life-stages and parts of fish and for biomonitoring of systems, among others. Although the initial set-up costs of molecular analysis seem prohibitive, once the reference collections for a given set of species are available, querying for individual species is inexpensive. Molecular biomonitoring techniques are far less costly than field-based studies, such as tagging or mark-recapture. Furthermore, the ‘added-value’ that is gained from molecular analysis is provided through the ability to also obtain information on population structure, migration patterns and other ecological parameters, making molecular collection and DNA banking a very cost-effective monitoring strategy. In addition to a lack of taxonomic confirmation for several groups, the Mekong’s meandering course through 6 different countries, all of which assign a different name to the same species in a different language addsadditional complication to the task. Standardizing the inventory and using barcoding to identify and monitor species will provide consistency within Cambodia and will be cross-applicable throughout the region.

Discussion: No discussion notes


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