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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 species 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 cellular replication capacity are yet to be approved, time consuming, and have limitations (some species mayn’t grow). Rapid and accurate assays to identify cells that are UV damaged beyond recovery are critical for the acceptance of UVbased BWTSs. Hence practical methods based on genomics/transcriptomics will be developed for rapid, high throughput, on-site assessments of DNA damage related to key functional genes in micro-eukaryotes. TROJAN Technologies will use this technology to validate UV sterilization for ballast water treatment at the global scale.
Subba Rao Chaganti
University of Windsor
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