facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Microbe's poison linked to fish kills

Jan. 22, 2010 at 4:08 PM   |   Comments

BALTIMORE, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- A microbe linked to toxic algae blooms in the Chesapeake Bay emits a poison to protect itself and to stun its equally tiny prey, Maryland scientists said.

Knowing the hunting habits of Karlodinium veneficum could help reduce fish kills, researchers at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, said.

Studies show K. veneficum emits a poison called karlotoxin that immobilizes its prey -- a single-celled algae called cryptophyte, the researchers wrote this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

K. veneficum blooms spread the toxin, which damage the gills of fish.

The frequency of the algae blooms could be reduced by limiting the nutrient load that feed's K. veneficum's prey and by bringing back the Eastern oyster, which once was the bay's most prolific microbe filter, said Allen Place of Maryland's Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology.

K. veneficum is a problem in estuaries worldwide and millions of dollars are spent annually trying to control it.

© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
trending
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
1
Obama's plan calls for computer chip implants to help soldiers heal
2
Wolf yawns are contagious
3
Newfoundland fossil is earliest evidence of muscled animals
4
Tech industry All Stars developing 'Star Trek'-style communication badges
5
Latvia boasts world's first net for migrating bats
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback