Wednesday, January 22, 2014
A bacterial disease called early mortality syndrome is killing off the stocks of the world's three largest shrimp producers: Thailand, China and Vietnam. In some places, production is down by nearly 50 percent from last year.
But there is hope. Don Lightner in the School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences at the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has a solution for detecting the bacteria in the stocks, allowing infected populations to be separated from healthy ones.
Lightner and Assistant Staff Scientist Linda Nunan have created a rapid diagnostic test capable of detecting the genetic differences between the pathogenic and non-pathogenic versions of the common marine bacterium, called Vibrio parahaemolyticus, which causes the disease. This method will enable specific detection of affected shrimp, currently only identified through the use of histology, which is time consuming and expensive. A rapid polymerase chain reaction test for the detection of this pathogen will be the first on the market and is critically needed by the shrimp producing industry.
To get the solution into the hands of shrimp farmers, Lightner connected with Tech Launch Arizona, the UA's technology commercialization office. Through TLA, the UA entered into a licensing agreement with GeneReach Biotechnology Corp. to commercialize the solution and make it available worldwide.
Read the rest of this January 13, 2014 UANews article at the link below.More Information