Zebra Mussel Control and Preventing Dispersal Through Improved Veliger Detection
Using an rRNA Probe
Marc Frischer, Skidaway
Institute of Oceanography, Savannah, GA.
Georgia Sea Grant College Program (R/XG-7)
- 8/31/99 (complete)
1. To modify a currently available zebra mussel-specific 18S rRNA probe for
application as a practical tool to determine the presence and abundance of veligers
in water samples (primary research objective)
2. To demonstrate the practical utility of this method in improving zebra mussel
control techniques - by collaborating with power plants, a paper mill, and water
utilities - and preventing the dispersal of zebra mussels by fish hatcheries
and baitfish suppliers (primary outreach objective)
3. To examine the utility of the 18S rRNA probe for assessing the "metabolic
state/viability" of veligers.
4. To develop collaborations with impacted water users who will provide feedback
and practical experience in the design and implementation of probe-based field
This project is still in the research and development stage and therefore probably
has had little direct impact or effect on business, industry development, or
resources management yet. However, particularly through our active participation
at international meetings such as the Aquatic Nuisance Species meetings and
our collaboration with industry representatives, the potential of the technology
we have been developing is being absorbed by a wide diversity of potential end
user groups. The feedback we have received has in large part been extremely
positive and there is a general excitement about the possibility of real-time
veliger monitoring using genetic probes. Two examples of this are at the Eight
and Tenth Annual Aquatic Nuisance Species Meeting. At the Eight ANS meeting
we were asked to provide and impromptu evening workshop describing the probe
technology. At the 10th ANS meeting we were approached by Stan Ross, CEO of
Marine Physics Corp, about the possibility of incorporating probe technology
into a ballast water treatment system that marine Physics is developing.
Frischer, M.E., A.S. Hansen, J.A. Wyllie, J. Wimbush, J. Murray, and S.A. Nierzwicki-Bauer.
(submitted). Specific Amplification of the 18S rRNA Gene as a Method to Detect
Zebra Mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) Larvae in Plankton Samples. Hydrobiologia.
S.A. Nierzwicki-Bauer, R.H. Parsons, K. Vathanodorn, and K.R. Waitkus. (2000).
Interactions between zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) and microbial communities.
Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 57:591-599.
S.A. Nierzwicki-Bauer, M. Resto, A. Toro, and G.A. Toranzos. (1999). Zebra Mussels
as Possible Biomonitors/Filters of the Protozoan Pathogen Cryptosporidium. Dressenia!
J.A. Wyllie, A.S. Hansen, and S.A. Nierzwicki-Bauer. 1997. Development and utilization
of genetic probes for studying zebra mussel veligers. Proceedings of the 1997
Georgia Water Resourcs Conference, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA.
Zebra Mussels in
Lake George. Coastlines: A bi-monthly Newsletter of the US EPA (2000)
Stalking the Zebra
Mussel. Skidaway Scenes: A Newsletter of the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography.