Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Molecular Probes Link Sea Lion Deaths To Toxic Algal Bloom

Date:
January 7, 2000
Source:
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Summary:
New molecular probes used to identify toxic diatoms allowed researchers to link a bloom of these algae to the deaths of more than 400 California sea lions in Monterey Bay during May and June 1998.

MOSS LANDING, California —- New molecular probes used to identify toxic diatoms allowed researchers to link a bloom of these algae to the deaths of more than 400 California sea lions in Monterey Bay during May and June 1998. Dr. Christopher Scholin, a molecular biologist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), and colleagues report their research results in the 6 January issue of the journal Nature.

Harmful algal blooms in the ocean result from the rapid growth of some species of microscopic algae that produce toxic by-products. These toxins can cause public health threats and fisheries closures when transferred up the food chain, but the connection between algal blooms and marine mammal mortality has been difficult to establish. Traditional techniques used to identify the presence of potentially toxic algae work after the bloom has occurred and may even miss the bloom. In this study, the bloom of the diatom Pseudo-nitzschia australis and its associated neurotoxin domoic acid was first noted in plankton samples using DNA probe tests developed by MBARI and a toxin test developed by scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Biotoxin Research Program in Charleston, South Carolina.

"The DNA probes and toxin tests detected the short but significant bloom in Pseudo-nitzschia australis," said Dr. Scholin. "Our early alert and collaboration with marine mammal scientists and public health officials helped us collect the data needed to connect the sea lion deaths with the bloom."

These techniques, in which species-specific DNA probes bind to the RNA of the toxic algae and glow when viewed under a microscope, could be applied using a robotic device in the field. Dr. Scholin and colleagues at MBARI plan to deploy a prototype of such a device in Monterey Bay this summer.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. "Molecular Probes Link Sea Lion Deaths To Toxic Algal Bloom." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 January 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/01/000107083206.htm>.
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. (2000, January 7). Molecular Probes Link Sea Lion Deaths To Toxic Algal Bloom. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/01/000107083206.htm
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. "Molecular Probes Link Sea Lion Deaths To Toxic Algal Bloom." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/01/000107083206.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

AP (July 30, 2014) River otters were hitting the water slides to beat the summer heatwave on Wednesday at Ichikawa City's Zoological and Botanical Garden. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

AP (July 30, 2014) Every summer, tourists make the pilgrimage to Chincoteague Island, Va. to see wild ponies cross the Assateague Channel. But, it's the rockets sending to supplies to the International Space Station that are making this a year-round destination. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre

Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre

AP (July 29, 2014) Food scraps and other items left on the grounds by picnickers brings unwelcome visitors to the grounds of the world famous and popular Louvre Museum in Paris. (July 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jane Goodall Warns Great Apes Face Extinction

Jane Goodall Warns Great Apes Face Extinction

AFP (July 29, 2014) The world's great apes face extinction within decades, renowned chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall warned Tuesday in a call to arms to ensure man's closest relatives are not wiped out. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins