Science Serving Maryland's Coasts


Metallothioneins in marine coccoid cyanobacteria; cloning, transcriptional analyses and application to assessment of metal stress in natural communities of picoplankton in Chesapeake Bay

Principal Investigator: 

Jonathan G. Kramer

Start/End Year: 

1994 to 1997


Center of Marine Biotechnology, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute


The objective of this program is to assess the extent and degree that metals impact the picoplankton in Chesapeake Bay and selected tributaries. This objective includes isolation and cloning of the gene encoding metallothionein (MY) from representative marine cyanobacteria (Synechococcus spp.). The cloned genes will be used as probes to examine variations in transcription rates in natural populations isolated from the lower Bay, Elizabeth River and James River. The goal of this program is to apply the newest molecular biological techniques to the problem of determining how metal stress impacts the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.