Grass carp Ctenopharyngodon idella, silver carp Hypophthalmichthys molitrix, and bighead carp H. nobilis are now established and relatively common in the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers. Commercial fishers of Louisiana's large rivers report recurrent catches of grass carp, and the frequency of bighead carp and silver carp catch is increasing. Twelve black carp Mylopharyngodon piceus were recently captured from the Mississippi and Atchafalaya River system, and 10 were analyzed for ploidy. By using the methods described herein, all 10 fish were determined to be diploid. Such correct identifications of ploidy of feral Asian carp species, as well as other species, would provide science-based information constructive for meeting reporting requirements, tracking fish movements, and forecasting expansion of species distribution. To investigate the postmortem period for sample collection and to lessen demands on field operations for obtaining samples, a laboratory study was performed to determine the length of time for which eyeballs from postmortem black carp could be used for ploidy determinations. Acquiring eyes rather than blood is simpler and quicker and requires no special supplies. An internal DNA reference standard with a documented genome size, including erythrocytes from diploid black carp or Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus, was analyzed simultaneously with cells from seven known triploid black carp to assess ploidy through 12 d after extraction. Ploidy determinations were reliable through 8 d postmortem. The field process entails excision of an eyeball, storage in a physiological buffer, and shipment within 8 d at refrigeration temperatures (4??C) to the laboratory for analysis by flow cytometry. ?? Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2007.
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Use of eyeballs for establishing ploidy of Asian carp