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 October 22, 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 October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) How to make a pumpkin pom-pom. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) Police in Gary, Indiana are using cadaver dogs to search for more victims after a suspected serial killer confessed to killing at least seven women. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trick-or-Treating Banned Because of Polar Bears

Trick-or-Treating Banned Because of Polar Bears

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Mother Nature is pulling a trick on the kids of Arviat, Canada. As Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) tells us, the effects of global warming caused the town to ban trick-or-treating this Halloween. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Visitors to Belgrade zoo meet a pair of three-week-old lion cubs for the first time. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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