Development of rapid and accurate genomic techniques for ballast water UV treatment

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) recently introduced stringent regulations for the treatment of ballast water. Ultra-violet (UV) light is a useful technology in a ballast water treatment system (BWTS), for inactivating phytoplankton which could be invasive and harmful to humans and the environment. UV damages DNA and prevents replication, but the vital stain methods mandated in the USCG protocol do not detect UV damage. Alternative culture-based measures of reproductive capacity are yet to be approved, time consuming, and have limitations (not all species may grow). Rapid and accurate assays to identify cells that are UV damaged beyond recovery are critical for the acceptance of UV-based BWTSs. We will use DNA damage and repair gene activity assays to develop a rapid, reliable and cost effective quantification method for UV algal elimination in ship ballast discharge. TROJAN Technologies will use this technology to validate UV sterilization for global ballast water treatment.

Intern: 
Subba Rao Chaganti
Faculty Supervisor: 
Dr. Daniel Heath
Project Year: 
2014
Province: 
Ontario
Program: