Microscopic versus qPCR (quantitative polymerase chain reaction) analyses were compared for the detection of Didymosphenia geminata in biofilms and water filtrates from seven Gaspésie rivers (Canada). For the qPCR approach, two DNA extraction kits (QIAamp DNA Micro Kit, Qiagen and PowerSoil DNA Isolation Kit, Mo Bio Laboratories) and two pairs of primers were considered. The pair of primers D602F/D753Rext did not amplify D. geminata DNA whereas the pair of primers D602F/D753R was specific for D. geminata. Presence-absence diagnosis based on qPCR and microscopic analyses were consistent: D. geminata was detected in six of the seven rivers, both in the biofilm and filtrate samples. However, technical replications were needed at certain sites to observe the presence of D. geminata cells by microscopy. This underscores the necessity of replicate analyses, which is cost-effective to achieve when using qPCR due to the capacity to process tens of samples in a single PCR run in the context of a large scale assessment.

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