Toward routine, DNA-based detection methods for marine pests

Nathan Bott, Kathy Ophel-Keller, Michael Sierp, Herdina, Keith Rowling, Alan McKay, Maylene Loo, Jason Tanner, Marty Deveney

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    60 Citations (Scopus)


    Marine pest incursions can cause significant ongoing damage to aquaculture, biodiversity, fisheries habitat, infrastructure and social amenity. They represent a significant and ongoing economic burden. Marine pests can be introduced by several vectors including aquaculture, aquarium trading, commercial shipping, fishing, floating debris, mining activities and recreational boating. Despite the inherent risks, there is currently relatively little routine surveillance of marine pest species conducted in the majority of countries worldwide. Accurate and rapid identification of marine pest species is central to early detection and management. Traditional techniques (e.g. physical sampling and sorting), have limitations, which has motivated some progress towards the development of molecular diagnostic tools. This review provides a brief account of the techniques traditionally used for detection and describes developments in molecular-based methods for the detection and surveillance of marine pest species. Recent advances provide a platform for the development of practical, specific, sensitive and rapid diagnosis and surveillance tools for marine pests for use in effective prevention and control strategies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)706-714
    Number of pages9
    JournalBiotechnology Advances
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


    • Detection
    • DNA
    • Genetic markers
    • Hybridisation
    • Marine pests
    • Molecular technologies
    • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
    • Specific diagnosis


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