School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-5000

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Bassem Allam

Dr Bassem Allam, Associate Professor

Functional genomics investigations of hard clam immune response and resistance against QPX infection.

Further progress in understanding factors affecting bivalve's resistance to infectious diseases is limited by the lack of information regarding bivalve immunity. In this project, we are developing and using functional genomics approaches (construction and pyrosequencing of cDNA libraries, construction and use of microarrays or DNA chips) to characterize transcriptional signatures of the immune response against QPX in susceptible and resistant clam strains and to investigate the molecular bases of the effects of environmental factors on QPX disease development. .


Clustering of down regulated genes (green, each rectangle represents an individual gene) in infected clams. The red strip designates the only clam (out of 5) displaying healing signs in infected tissues and in which the studied genes were upregulated.

Our first generation hard clam microarray has been successfully used to evaluate gene regulation in clams in response to QPX disease.

This project is the first to combine “traditional” (cellular and biochemical assays) and functional genomics techniques to provide an integrative assessment of the clam immune response towards the QPX parasite. Our approach will allow the discovery of biomarkers and molecular mechanisms characteristic of both resistance to, and dysfunctions caused by, the parasite .

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Last update: June 2010