Navigation Links
New genetic test can detect clam disease

A sensitive new genetic test can now detect a crippling disease called QPX occurring in clam beds from Cape Cod south to Virginia and north to Canada. Although it does not affect humans and it is not as well known as red tide, the disease can have a significant impact on a local economy by killing clams and devastating shellfish harvests and commercial aquaculture operations.

QPX - for quahog parasite unknown - is a single-celled organism related to slime mold. It was first detected in 1995 in Provincetown, MA and spread to nearby clam beds, killing nine of ten clams in many of the beds. The disease spreads from clam to clam, infecting the clam by secreting a thick mucus layer to insulate itself from the clam's immune system.

Rebecca Gast, an associate scientist in the Biology Department at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), has developed a genetic test to detect the organism not only in clams but in seawater and sediment. Since QPX also decomposes seaweed, researchers now believe it can be found in all coastal waters but doesn't become deadly to clams until it reaches a critical concentration in the water.

Gast notes that although red tide got a lot of media attention this year, QPX is actually a bigger problem. The toxins that cause red tide in clams and other shellfish in New England do not kill the shellfish and will wash away once the red tide bloom diminishes, eventually making the shellfish safe to eat. QPX kills the clams, and there is no known cure.

Gast is working with Roxanna Smolowitz, a veterinarian at the nearby Marine Biological Laboratory, to find out what triggers the organisms to reach concentrations that become deadly, and whether that threshold varies among clam strains. Smolowitz uses traditional microscopic examination of tissues to determine if clams are sick.

Gast's genetic test can now also be used to ensure clams without visible symptoms are not carrying the disease. With the disease sprea ding along the East Coast and no cure, the researchers say the best solution for shellfishermen and aquaculture operations is to keep infection levels as low as possible and try to keep seed clams free of the disease. One possible remedy may be rotating shellfish crops, much like farmers do on land.


'"/>

Source:Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution


Related biology news :

1. Its not all genetic: Common epigenetic problem doubles cancer risk in mice
2. Scientists detect probable genetic cause of some Parkinsons disease cases
3. Mouse brain tumors mimic those in human genetic disorder
4. Scientists identify genetic pathways essential to RNA interference
5. Researchers trace evolution to relatively simple genetic changes
6. Key mechanism in genetic inheritance during cell division identified
7. Scientists identify genetic pathways essential to RNA interference
8. MUHC scientists describe genetic resistance to rampant virus
9. Mosaic mouse technique offers a powerful new tool to study diseases and genetics
10. Montreal researchers probe the genetic basis of memory
11. Biologists determine genetic blueprint of social amoeba
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/31/2016)... March 31, 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys has completed ... Barrett Bready , M.D., who returned to the ... original technical leadership team, including Chief Technology Officer, ... Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice President of Software and ... company. Dr. Bready served as CEO of ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... PUNE, India , March 22, 2016 ... new market research report "Electronic Sensors Market for ... Fingerprint, Proximity, & Others), Application (Communication & ... and Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", ... consumer industry is expected to reach USD ...
(Date:3/18/2016)... --> --> Competitive Landscape Analysis ... Physical infrastructure and Perimeter Surveillance & Detection Systems ... and the continuing migration crisis in the Middle ... led visiongain to publish this unique report, which is crucial ... & security companies in the border security market and the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... England , May 23, 2016 ... May 25 th at 10:15 a.m. ET before the ... the role genetically engineered mosquitos can play in controlling the ... carrier of the Zika virus.      (Logo: ... engineered male mosquito with a self-limiting gene. Trials in ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... May 23, 2016 , ... RoviSys, a leading independent provider ... Ohio, has broken ground on a new building in Holly Springs, NC. With ... new location solidifies a commitment to business in the region. The new facility ...
(Date:5/22/2016)... , ... May 22, 2016 , ... Doctors in Rome ... combating the asbestos cancer, malignant mesothelioma. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted an article on ... the University of Rome’s Department of Clinical Sciences and Translational Medicine evaluated more than ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... May 20, 2016 , ... Kablooe Design, a leading provider ... announced its official 25th anniversary of the business. “We have worked hard to build ... our customers for the privilege and honor of serving their product design and development ...
Breaking Biology Technology: