Project aims

The specific aims of the project are to develop and apply molecular biology approaches for rapid and accurate pathogen identification and disease prediction, and to demonstrate whether and how the community of microbes within a pond (the pond microbiome) relates to disease risk. We hope to achieve our aims by undertaking the following key activities:

  1. Identifying molecular ‘biomarkers’ that can be used as indicators of pond/crop health status and predictors of disease outbreaks
  2. Developing a simple but accurate on-farm molecular assay for detecting biomarkers of health status
  3. Design and develop app and web-based communication systems to allow farmers to engage with scientists to report aquaculture pond data for integration into modelling and prediction of disease events; and to enable farmers to receive information on disease identification.
  4. Determining the effects of common pro-biotic treatments on pond microbiome and disease risk
  5. Establish protocols and online training/resources for accurate diagnostics and characterization of novel/emerging diseases
  6. Facilitating the widest possible engagement in which the efforts of farmers, Aquatic Health Professionals (AHPs), researchers, and national Competent Authorities are brought together to avert disease outbreaks.