Analysis of the quagga mussel genome for development of biocontrols
The presence of quagga mussels can threaten the reliable delivery of water and power, increase operations and maintenance costs for facilities, and impact the ecology and recreational use of infested water. There are currently no viable options for control of quagga mussel populations in open water. The proposed work will utilize the recently sequenced and assembled quagga mussel genome to develop strategies and methods for genetic biocontrol of this damaging invader. The high-quality genome assembly developed during a current S&T funded project provides an invaluable tool for identify potential vulnerabilities in the species that could be targeted for control technologies. Although initial annotation of the genome is being conducted in the current study, almost nothing is currently known regarding the functional genomics of the quagga mussel. Initial identification of genes in the genome has been conducted through RNA sequencing and computational analysis, but ascription of the roles of these genes is currently based primarily on data from distantly related model species. It is therefore currently a matter of conjecture as to the specific genes that play roles in critical processes such as development and reproduction that could be effectively targeted for biocontrol.
The goal of the proposed work is to analyze the genome of the quagga mussel to look for vulnerabilities that could be targeted for genetic biocontrol, and to develop tools for pursuing such controls.
Need and Benefit
The proposed research will pursue detailed annotation and analysis of the quagga mussel genome. Such an analysis is fundamental to the development of any genetic controls.
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