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Centre for

Marine Biodiversity and Biotechnology

From the shoreline to the deep ocean, tackling issues from pure ecology
and physiology to aquaculture, marine spatial planning and conservation.

Impacts of stress on invertebrate immune defence

It was shown following the 'Sea Empress' oil spill that effects on the immune system of invertebrates can linger for some time. Such effects were also found to be correlated in some instances with exposure to particular contaminants within complex mixtures. On-going research includes laboratory-based studies on effects of individual stress factors, as well as field-based monitoring, thus comparing observations made under controlled conditions with those in the environment. Under investigation are cellular functions such as phagocytosis, and biochemical/molecular parameters such as enzyme/antimicrobial activities and gene expression of antimicrobial peptides.

This research is being led by Dr Liz Dyrynda.

Key CMBB Reference: Dyrynda EA, Law RJ, Dyrynda PEJ, Kelly CA, Pipe RK, Ratcliffe NA (2000) Changes in immunocompetence of natural mussel (Mytilus edulis) populations following a major oil spill (Sea Empress, Wales UK). Marine Ecology Progress Series, 206, 155-170