CSIRO Publishing blank image blank image blank image blank imageBooksblank image blank image blank image blank imageJournalsblank image blank image blank image blank imageAbout Usblank image blank image blank image blank imageShopping Cartblank image blank image blank image You are here: Journals > Marine & Freshwater Research   
Marine & Freshwater Research
Journal Banner
  Advances in the Aquatic Sciences
blank image Search
blank image blank image
blank image
  Advanced Search

Journal Home
About the Journal
Editorial Board
Online Early
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Research Fronts
Sample Issue
For Authors
General Information
Instructions to Authors
Submit Article
Open Access
For Referees
General Information
Review an Article
Referee Guidelines
Annual Referee Index
For Subscribers
Subscription Prices
Customer Service
Print Publication Dates

blue arrow e-Alerts
blank image
Subscribe to our Email Alert or RSS feeds for the latest journal papers.

red arrow Connect with us
blank image
facebook twitter youtube


Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 54(6)

Development and evaluation of a PCR-based test for detection of Asterias (Echinodermata : Asteroidea) larvae in Australian plankton samples from ballast water

B. E. Deagle, N. Bax, C. L. Hewitt and J. G. Patil

Marine and Freshwater Research 54(6) 709 - 719
Published: 18 November 2003


The northern Pacific seastar, Asterias amurensis, spread to Tasmania in the 1980s from its native range in the North Pacific. The seastar has subsequently established in Port Phillip Bay on mainland Australia. Transportation of larvae in ballast water is one vector for these introductions and is likely to contribute to additional range expansion of this species. Larval identification methods are critical to assess risks of further transport to uninvaded ecosystems; however, morphological identification of larval asteroids is impractical and unreliable. Therefore, we have developed a sensitive PCR-based method that specifically detects Asterias DNA. The method works on isolated seastar larva, mixed plankton and ballast water samples. Trials using uninfected ballast water samples spiked with known numbers of A. amurensis larvae indicate that the technique can detect single larva in 200 mg of plankton. The test also detects other Asterias species; therefore, discrimination between seastars within the genus Asterias was accomplished using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Currently, this method is being used to facilitate research on ballast water transport, distribution and the ecology of A. amurensis larvae. The general approach can be expanded to provide a rapid and cost-effective approach for detecting a suite of marine species in ballast water and environmental samples.

Keywords: Asterias amurensis, gene probe, introduced pest, species identification.

Full text doi:10.1071/MF03031

© CSIRO 2003

blank image
Subscriber Login

PDF (463 KB) $25
 Export Citation
Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help


© CSIRO 1996-2014