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May 16, 2014 - ESP Update

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All 3 ESPs worked flawlessly this week for the hab assay including today's run (Friday).

Earlier this week, we had a solid hit for the NA1 Alexandrium fundyense probe on ESP-1 (don) near NERACOOS B. That result was about 200 cells/L, but that signal went away the following day and has not returned today either...The latest results from ESP-3 (dennis) offshore of Pemaquid Point also returned a blank result. 

ESP-2 (jake) in Casco Bay returned a weak positive signal for the NA1 A.fundyense probe, but those spots were not quantifiable (below the <100 cells/Liter detection limit). 

To make things even more interesting in Casco Bay, ESP-2 (jake) also returned a positive hit on the hab array for the Psuedo-nitzschia MUD2 probe on both Wed and Friday this week. For an explanation from the collaborating Pseudo-nitzschia expert, Kate Hubbard, formerly from the Anderson lab, and now at Florida Fisheries and Wildlife Institute in St.Petersburg, please see her comments in italics below: 

While the positive MUD2 signal on ESPjake confirms the presence of Pseudo-nitzschia in Casco Bay, we cannot determine which species produced the positive hit at this time. The ESP hab array used in the Gulf of Maine deployments currently has four different probes targeting Pseudo-nitzschia. The MUD2 probe is not specific to a single species. Instead, this probe can pick up P. multiseries, as well as species in the P. pseudodelicatissima and P. delicatissima complexes. The other Pseudo-nitzschia probes on the array were negative, which allows us to rule out a few toxic species, including P. multiseries and P. seriata. Additional genetic testing using samples collected during the upcoming ground-truth surveys will identify which Pseudo-nitzschia species are currently in the region.

Next week, we will be conducting ground-truth sampling from the R/V Tioga and plan to sample at the mooring sites and along several transects running offshore from the ESP mooring sites and we'll report those results later next week.

Bruce Keafer and Kate Hubbard

Last updated: July 1, 2019

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