Aquaculture Genomics Lab Detects New Invasive Species
January 23rd, 2014
The Aquaculture Genomics Laboratory, founded a year ago in the Faculty of Agriculture, focuses on using innovative molecular biotechnology to drive scientific discoveries and to respond to industry challenges in the shellfish aquaculture industry.
Under the direction of Sarah Stewart-Clark, the laboratory is directly connected to the oyster, mussel, scallop and lobster fishery and aquaculture sectors in Atlantic Canada.
“Our goal is to provide science-based information for both industry members and government managers to best grow this industry forward in Nova Scotia,” explains Dr. Stewart-Clark.
The Aquaculture Genomics Lab, located on the Agricultural Campus, performs monitoring of environmental water samples for both target and pest DNA. Assays (analytic procedures) that can detect when target larvae are present in water samples enable growers to make decisions about when to place spat collectors in the water to gather their seed product.
“We also have assays that can detect pest species in environmental water samples — for example, invasive tunicates. Our assays are currently being used by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and provincial governments in NS, PEI, NB and Quebec to monitor bays and rivers for the DNA of invasive species.”