We aim to understand the complex interaction between the parasite causing seagrass wasting disease, slime nets in the genus Labyrinthula, and their seagrass host.
Our work examines the biogeography, diversity, and ecology of seagrass parasites within the genus Labyrinthula, which cause seagrass wasting disease, along both coasts of North and Central America. We are assessing the host specificity of these parasites and the diversity of these parasites associated with dominant seagrasses in temperate and subtropical waters (Zostera marina and Thalassia testudinum) as well as parasites associated with other subtropical seagrasses (e.g., Syringodium filiforme, Halodule wrightii). We are developing new methods, specifically genetic and genomic techniques, for assessing parasite diversity and abundance across seagrass hosts. We are also examining the impact of biotic and abiotic stressors on the progression of seagrass wasting disease.
Slime Nets and other invasive parasites unmasked, thanks to DNA by Kristin Minogue