Alex Kuang

A Natural Product Molluscicide Tool To Protect Great Lakes (Freshwater) Infrastructure and Tourism from Invasive Mussels

Authors: Alex Kuang (biological sciences), Ashley LaCroix (environmental science)

Faculty mentor: Judy Westrick, Donna Kashian

Abstract

Harmful cyanobacterial bloom (HCB) and invasive dreissenid mussel species are both detrimental to the water ecology and the state economy. HCBs produce secondary toxic and nuisance secondary metabolites, whereas mussels litter beaches with sharp shells and block drinking water intake pipes. Primary data suggest that HCB extract can inhibit mussel spawning, our laboratory studied the effect cyanobacteria have on invasive mussels. We hypothesized that cyanobacteria produce metabolites that inhibit the spawning of Dreissena bugensis (Quagga mussel). The objectives of the study were to determine if all cyanobacteria inhibited spawning and if chemical communications are present between cyanobacteria and mussels. Out of the 6 species of cyanobacteria, only M. viridis did not inhibit spawning whereas M. ichthyoblabe expresses the greatest degree of inhibition. Further experimentation is required to develop the statistical significance of the Spawning Assay. The chemical communication experiment was assessed by quantifying cyanopeptides by comparing the solution of cyanobacteria pre- and post-exposed to Quagga mussel using a LC/MS/MS. Only two cyanopeptides, Oscillaginin A and Anabaenopeptin B were quantified from the 10 standards cyanopeptides only when the cyanobacteria were exposed to the mussel. These data suggest that Oscillaginin A and Anabaenopeptin B are used in chemical communication between the Oscillaginin A and Anabaenopeptin B. Further investigation is needed to determine what chemical is produced by M. ichthyoblable that inhibits spawning as well as how the chemical communication works between the mussels and cyanobacteria.

Poster pitch

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Alex Kuang: A Natural Product Molluscicide Tool To Protect Great Lakes (Freshwater) Infrastructure and Tourism from Invasive Mussels

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