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1999 Projects

Current Projects

Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) Benthic processes
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) Midwater research
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) Upper ocean biogeochemistry
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) New research platforms
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) ROV improvements
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) Mooring improvements
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) New in-situ Instruments
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) Information management and archiving
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) Education and outreach
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) 1998 Projects
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) 1997 Projects


1999 Projects: Upper ocean biogeochemistry

Development and application of DNA probes
for detection of phytoplankton species

Project lead/manager: Chris Scholin
Project team: Roman Marin and Peter Miller

The overall objective of this project is to develop a set of ribosomal RNA (rRNA)-targeted DNA probes and methods for their application to speed and ease the identification and quantification of certain eukaryotic phytoplankton. This work will improve our understanding of organisms driving primary production in Central California offshore waters and the manner in which those species respond to the ever-changing physical and chemical environment. Work to date has proven that species-specific rRNA probes are promising tools in this regard, particularly with respect to various toxic phytoplankton linked to negative health effects on humans and wildlife worldwide. However, a number of important research and development issues must be resolved if we are to capitalize on these advancements to the greatest extent possible. First, to determine whether probe strategies currently in use are applicable to a wider range of species than the few targeted thus far, we must expand the repertoire of both species and group-specific probes available. Second, we must conduct culture studies to determine the extent to which change in the physiological status of cells alters their reactivity to the probes. Third, to maximize the efficiency and utility of applying probes to large numbers of samples, particularly when working aboard ship, we must improve the processes of data collection, retrieval, and imaging. A three-year program will address these themes. Probes developed will be evaluated in collaboration with Chavez et al. and MBARI’s upper water-column research group.

Next: Molecular monitoring of picoplankton

Last updated: 07 October 2004