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Histological research allows MAREX to investigate the biology of marine life.

Using histological techniques, the Shellfish Research Lab has described the gametogenic cycles of numerous native and introduced shellfish species:

  • Blood ark, Anadara ovalis
  • Northern quahog, Mercenaria mercenaria
  • Eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica
  • Ribbed mussel, Geukensia demissa
  • Scorched mussel, Brachidontes exustus
  • Southern surf clam, Spisula solidissima similis
  • Marsh clam, Polymesoda caroliniana
  • Crested oyster, Ostrea equestris
  • Transverse ark, Anadara transversa
  • Ponderous ark, Noetia ponderosa

Introduced species

  • Atlantic surf clam, Spisula solidissima
  • Asian clam, Corbicula fluminea
  • Charrua mussel, Mytella charruana

Current research is focused on the gametogenic cycles of:

  • the knobbed whelk, Busycon carica
  • the channeled whelk, Busycotypus canaliculatus
  • the introduced asian clam, Corbicula fluminea

The Shellfish Research Laboratory has recently documented the occurrence, intensity and prevalence of the protozoan diseases Perkinsis marinus (Dermo) and Haplosporidium nelsoni (MSX) at 67 different oyster reefs throughout the Chatham County area. Further studies have identified high levels of dermo in oysters from the Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve.

These studies have merely provided snapshots of the current status of disease in Georgia's oysters.