"We are able to produce so-called gene probes from our laboratory cultures with the help of molecular techniques", explains Tillmann. "These gene probes prove the existence of the toxin-producing algae in seawater samples and they offer an effective future early warning system for mussel farms", Tillmann continues. Apart from these applied aspects, the researchers are interested in quite fundamental questions: why does the alga produce these azaspiracid toxins and what are their ecological functions? The researchers have already planned the next expedition in order to further pursue these questions - they will head out into the North Sea with RV Heincke at the end of April 2009.
|Contact: Ude Cieluch|
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres