Project number: 2003-622
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $112,316.00
Principal Investigator: Serge Corbeil
Organisation: CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory
Project start/end date: 29 Sep 2003 - 31 Oct 2004


Australian edible mollusc production has increased by 22% in the last three years, reaching a total gross value of $70,000,000 in 2000/2001. The growing world-demand for aquaculture products opens export opportunities for Australia’s aquaculture sector (Australian Fisheries Statistics, 2001). However, translocation of live molluscs is often associated with pathogen spread with resulting disease outbreaks having detrimental effects on production, trade and the ability to open new overseas markets (Berthe and Boudry, 1999). A rapid and reliable diagnostic capability (expertise and molecular tools) for the detection and identification of important mollusc pathogens worldwide is not currently available in Australia. Such diagnostic capability is necessary to ascertain the presence or absence of Bonamia spp. a notifiable pathogen in domestically farmed oysters. It is essential to develop both expertise and modern molecular assays (e.g. PCR, gene sequencing (Berthe et al., 1999)) for identification and comparison of the Bonamia sp. present in Australia with overseas Bonamia spp. (Pichot et al., 1980; Campalas et al., 2000; Diggles et al., 2003). Without development of this expertise, including the required reagents and procedures, it will be difficult to establish a health certification and surveillance program for the mollusc aquaculture industry. Moreover, these resources are essential for development of strategies for disease management in Australia.

-Australian Fisheries Statistics. 2001. Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics. 64 pages.
-Berthe, F. and Boudry, P. 1999. Pister les huitres et leurs pathogens. Biofutur, 195: 38-42.
-Berthe, F., Burreson, E. and Hine, M. 1999. Use of molecular tools for mollusc disease diagnosis. Bull. Eur. Ass. Fish Pathol. 19(6): 277-278.
-Campalans, M., Rojas, P. and Gonzalez, M. 2000. Haemocytic parasitosis in farmed oyster Tiostrea chilensis. Bull. Eur. Ass. Fish Pathol. 20(1): 31-33.
-Diggles, B. K., Cochennec-Laureau, N., Hine, M. 2003. Comparison of diagnostic techniques for Bonamia exitiosus from flat oysters Ostreae chilensis in New Zeland. Aquaculture, 220(1-4):145-156.
-Pichot, Y., Comps, M., Tige, G., Grizel, H. and Rabouin, M. A. 1980. Recherche sur Bonamia ostreae gen. n., parasite nouveau de l’huitre plate Ostrea edulis L.. Rev. Trav. Inst. Scient. Tech. Pech. Marit. 43: 131-140.


1. To develop and validate real-time TaqMan PCR assay for the detection of Bonamia species in mollusc tissues.
2. To develop strategies and primers for conventional PCR amplification and sequencing of DNA products (amplicons), that will allow the differentiation of the Australian Bonamia from the exotic Bonamia spp.
3. To establish the detection limit of the TaqMan PCR assay.
4. To establish a reference collection of material (mollusc tissues) infected with exotic Bonamia species.

Final report

ISBN: 0-643-09130-0
Author: Serge Corbeil

Related research


Oyster Industry Response to the COVID19 Crisis

1. To prepare a brief to governments and industry describing the most useful activities that could be carried out to support improved oyster sales across the whole industry .
Oysters Australia Ltd