Ocean acidification effects on shellfish aquaculture
Ocean acidification (OA) is one of the most important issues affecting the marine environment yet to date little research has been done, particularly regarding the impact of changing ocean chemistry on commercially exploited species. Both cultured and wild shellfish populations along the Pacific Coast of North America have experienced population declines in the past few years and it is hypothesized that these failures may be due to the physiological impact of OA. Failure to monitor such impacts and begin to devise management or mitigation strategies could lead to catastrophic loses to the industry in the near future. We are rearing larval oysters, scallops and mussels at different levels of dissolved carbon dioxide (pCO2) and examining the effects on development, growth and survival. Experimentation is being combined with functional genomic analyses to examine the gene expression profiles of robust and vulnerable life-history stages using microarrays. A microarray is a collection of microscopic DNA spots which are attached to a solid surface and are used to measure a particular gene or genome's, expression level. To this end, we have recently completed development of a scallop microarray.
2011 - 2012
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