2014-02-24. Science Takes On a Silent Invader.

posted Feb 25, 2014, 4:45 PM by Alan Gould
For GSS Ecosystem Change chapter 6. Excerpt: Since they arrived in the Great Lakes in the 1980s, two species of mussels the size of pistachios have spread to hundreds of lakes and rivers in 34 states and have done vast economic and ecological damage. ...the quagga and zebra mussels, have disrupted ecosystems by devouring phytoplankton, the foundation of the aquatic food web, and have clogged the water intakes and pipes of cities and towns, power plants, factories and even irrigated golf courses. ...Daniel P. Molloy, an emeritus biologist at the New York State Museum in Albany ...Leading a team at the museum’s Cambridge Field Research Laboratory in upstate New York, ... discovered a bacterium, Pseudomonas fluorescens strain CL145A, that kills the mussels but appears to have little or no effect on other organisms. ...New York State has awarded a license to Marrone Bio Innovations, a company in Davis, Calif., to develop a commercial formulation of the bacterium. The product, Zequanox, has been undergoing tests for several years, with promising results ...Zequanox killed more than 90 percent of the mussels in a test using tanks of water from Lake Carlos in Minnesota ...A control group of freshwater mussels, unionids from the Black River in Wisconsin, were unharmed. ...Natives of Eastern Europe ...zebra and quagga mussels began moving up the Volga River toward Western Europe 200 years ago. ...Both species are thought to have arrived in North America in the ballast of trans-Atlantic cargo ships....  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/25/science/science-takes-on-a-silent-invader.html. Robert H. Boyle, The New York Times.