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

Field validation of Quantitative Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (qRT-PCR) for the detection of QPX in clams and environmental samples

QPX represents an important problem facing wild and aquacultured hard clam stocks in the northeast (see previous project for more details). Detecting future outbreaks of this disease in time to take the best possible management actions requires monitoring techniques that provide rapid and sensitive detection of the QPX organism in clams and in the environment. Our prior research (funded by NYSG) investigated the molecular genetics of QPX as a basis for developing rapid, molecular detection tools. In a subsequent project also funded by NYSG, we developed a specific, quantitative Real-Time PCR (qRT-PCR) method for detecting and enumerating QPX cells (research in collaboration with Dr Jackie Collier, Stony Brook University).


Fluorescence signal plots generated by the SYBR green-based technique



Testing several sets of QPX-specific primers on
lab-grown cultures of the parasite


The current project validates the new qRT-PCR technique during our extensive field surveillance progam of QPX. Samples are collected every 6 weeks and submitted to the new technique as well as to our standard histopathology procedures. In addition to field validation, the results of this project are expected to generate useful information about QPX dynamics and disease development in the field.

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Last update: June 2010