Project number: 2012-716
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $0.00
Principal Investigator: James O. Harris
Organisation: Flinders University
Project start/end date: 14 Mar 2012 - 13 Mar 2013


Paula Lima began her PhD within project 2007/750 ‘AGD Vaccine Phase III: Sea-based trials, refinement and commercialisation’. Paula began in 2009 and her full stipend, travel and operating funds were paid out of this project. Paula was adopted into the Seafood CRC in late 2009, with no further financial support for her stipend or operating expenses. In 2010 at a meeting of the project’s Management Advisory Committee (MAC), a decision was made to redirect research as it was apparent that the vaccine was not a commercial reality. This occurred one full year into her PhD. This had an effect on Paula’s PhD which was subsequently changed to investigating the use of RNAi as either a research tool and/or a control strategy for AGD. This meant that the entire 1st year’s work was made redundant and Paula had to effectively ‘start over’. Paula has effectively been working in her new area for almost two years. However, the project which funded her stipend is no longer operating. Therefore, Paula still has effectively one year of her PhD left to run. For this reason we sought support from the Seafood CRC to enable Paula to complete her research. This application has the full support of Adam Main, the CEO of the Tasmanian Salmonid Growers' Association (TSGA).

Final report

ISBN: 978-1-925982-30-5
Author: Paula Cristina Walger de Camargo Lima
Final Report • 2013-03-14 • 2.50 MB


RNA interference has emerged as a powerful tool for rapid analysis of gene function in non-model organisms and has the potential to identify candidate targets for interventions against diseases of economic importance to aquaculture. The main purpose of the study was to use functional and comparative genomics approaches to investigate whether the RNAi mechanism has been retained or lost in species from the Neoparamoeba genus.

The results provide strong evidence that both infective and non-infective species from Neoparamoeba spp. have evolutionarily retained key genes involved not only in the canonical RNAi mechanism, but also in the mirNA and PiRNA pathways. Despite being promising, these findings are still preliminary and the reality of applying RNAi technology to develop new treatment strategies against AGD still needs further effort.

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