Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Science Search

Science and Research Projects

Return to Science Search homepage   Return to Project List

Application of immunological and other biological water quality indicators in coastal waters - FC0504

R&D Summary Objectives:- Examine the immunological response and disease susceptibility of bivalves, to natural and anththropogenic stresses in order to establish optimal relaying conditions. Key Customer Purpose:- Establish relaying procedures which will reduce the risk of Bonamia and other disease and thus more effectively fullfil MAFF`s licensing responsibilities under the Act.
The main objective of the proposed work would be to study the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas and the manila clam tapes phillipinarum since this species are rapidly increasing in economic importance in British waters. Where appropriate 0strea edulis would be phased into the experimental programme in order to build on the knowledge already obtained from current work in the Oceanography department. It is the aim of the proposed work to quantify the responses of these species to natural and anthropogenic stressors, with particular emphasis on the immunological and disease susceptibility aspects of this work. Thus the first objective would be to define a set of baseline responses of the test species to the matrix of salinity. temperature and tidal exposure conditions, within the normal ranges of these variables. This has already been applied to 0. edulis. The interactions of these variables with pollutants would then be investigated. Representative anthropogenic pollutants have been chosen using evidence of their relative abundance and persistence in the marine environment and indications of their immunosuppressive and metabolic effects on marine bivalves. PAH's would be represented by low concentrations of benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) and chlorinated phenols by pentachlorophenol (PCP). The effects of algal blooms would be examined by exposing animals to phytoplankton species that cover a range of toxicities: these would be a highly toxic species- Gonyaulux tamarensis, species of indeterminate toxicity - Gymnodinium aureolum and Chrysochromulina chiton and species of low or unknown toxicity - Mesodinium rubrum and Phaeocystis pouchetii.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1990

To: 1993

Cost: £160,856
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Southampton
Fields of Study
Fish Health and Aquaculture