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

Site designed and maintained by
Bassem Allam

Dr Bassem Allam, Associate Professor

Investigations of the mechanisms of particle selection in suspension-feeding mollusks

This collaborative project translates my interests in the early interactions between bivalves and suspended particles, whether suspended particles represent food particles or pathogens. For instance, the limit between feeding, symbiosis and parasitism is very thin, particularly with regard to common principles of particle processing at first encounter with the bivalve. This project uses a set of innovative methods and approaches to evaluate how suspension-feeding bivalves process particulate matter, sort food from non-food particles, and what factors control this process.


Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy represents an efficient technique to investigate the early steps of the invasion of bivalve hosts by their parasites

Feeding experiments with oysters


With that regard, my research group has been particularly interested in the role of mucus covering bivalve's pallial organs (gills, labial palps and mantle) in the recognition of waterborne microorganisms, including food particles and pathogenic microorganisms. We demonstrated that pallial mucus contains recognition proteins (lectins) that are directly involved in the capture of food particles. Furthermore, we are currently focusing on the involvement of the recognition molecules in the early interactions between bivalves and their waterborne pathogens (attachment, invasion).


This project is led by Dr Emmanuelle Pales Espinosa and more details about our investigations could be found at her page.

Go to the next project

Go to my main page

Last update: June 2010