<< Return to News

Continuous Development of Molecular Methods To Solve Your Aquaculture Customers Pain

MDG has made continuous advances in molecular methods for the aquaculture industry. Over the last year, we presented three posters that focus on how these methods provide better insight for your customers. Thanks for all of those who dropped by our poster at the World Aquaculture Society meetings in Jeju, Korea and also our poster at the American Society of Microbiology in New Orleans, USA.  If you weren’t there, here is a brief synopsis of our work.

Poster #1

Combining the use of Whatman FTA cards and diagnostic PCR assays to determine the pathogenic potential of shrimp water samples shipped overseas.  2014. S. Son,


A. Lange, H. Behn, and M. King.  Abstract/Poster:  Aquaculture America 2014.  Seattle, WA.

This poster was our first development of a pathogen detection method that allowed us to analyze your customers aquaculture sample from anywhere in the world. Simply put one drop of aquaculture pond water on a FTA card let it dry, and mail it without losing

microbial diversities or paying for expensive international shipping charges.

From this card we are able to extract DNA from the bacteria in the pond water and identify the Vibrio toxins present in the ponds sampled.This method was semi-quantitative and allowed us to provide meaningful information to your customers but required extra work to provide numerical values vs presence/absence information.  However, it was the cornerstone of being able to receive samples globally.

If interested, this work is in print. Field Diagnostic Tools for Pathogenic Vibrios.    
M. King, S. Son, A. Lange, H. Behn, and J. Bradley.  2014.  Global Aquaculture Advocate. May/June.  40-42

Poster #2

Use of FTA cards for quantitative PCR detection of Vibrio harveyi and Vibrio campbellIi toxin genes and gene expression within shrimp pond water samples.  2015. Sona Son*, Amy M. Lange, and Michael R. King.  Abstract:  World Aquaculture Society Meeting.  Jeju, Korea.

The next step of adapting our pathogen method to quantitative PCR (qPCR) focused on poster 2reducing labor-intensive work and obtaining more precise information when determining the amount of pathogenic toxins in a shrimp pond. This advancement allowed us to rapidly and quantitatively detect toxin genes and infection rates on the globally shipped FTA card.

This work started at the DNA level, where we recognized that just because a toxin gene is present, it doesn’t mean the gene is turned on.  Meaning, the pathogen may not be the cause of disease in certain conditions. We began to show that poor management practices, such as not maintaining proper pH or excessive or inadequate salinity, actually induce pathogenic Vibrio to produce their toxins, and that the same bacteria in well-managed conditions did not produce those toxins. Vibrio seem to be friendly when conditions are ideal, but when conditions go beyond optimal, the toxins turn on. With this additional information and the use of the FTA card we are able to provide a better risk assessment for producers.

Poster #3

Use of FTA cards for diagnostic reverse transcriptase PCR to determine Vibrio harveyihemolysin toxin gene expression in shrimp pond samples. 2015. A. Lange, S. Son, M. King. Abstract. American Society of Microbiology General Meeting.  New Orleans, LA.

Our third poster, which was presented at the American Society of Microbiology conference in New Orleans, LA, begins to provide the application of all our previous efforts.  After showing that we could detect differences in toxin gene expression in the laboratory, we poster 3sought to study how stable RNA would be on a card shipped around the world.  We found that the RNA involved in toxin production was indeed stable and that we can study changing levels of gene expression in field samples.   This permits us to show the cause and effect relationship between the environmental factors, management practices, and the use or non-use of a bioaugmentation product in a pond and the changes in health and productivity we observe.

The information that we are able to obtain through the FTA card is essential in providing insight to improve your customers overall yield which is often negated by Vibrio in improperly managed systems.


These tools will begin to demonstrate what pathogens are present, and their ability to turn on their toxin genes without notice.  Showing where and how problems exist is the first step toward ounce of prevention vs a pound of cure. Molecular methods, such as those found in our three posters, allow us to prevent the problems of tomorrow vs. fighting the problems we face today. As the world starts to slip back into less water exchange strategies, these types of management programs become more important in finding ways to deal with shrimp pathogens.


If you’re interested in more information or sample testing we would be glad to hear from you. No matter where you are in the world.  

Search Insights
Recently Posted Insights

The Importance of Maintaining Synthetic Grass

The rising demand for artificial grass and turf has led to thousands of installations across America, with over a thousand more being added annually.² Schools, municipalities, and businesses are increasingly adopting artificial grass and turf as a sustainable...

The Importance of Maintaining a Healthy Septic System

According to a study by the EPA 53% of home septic systems were found to be ill-maintained. Ill-maintained septic systems that start with minor issues can turn into septic system failures, resulting in backups and odors, leaving your customers with quite the mess to...

Making a Difference: Volunteering to Improve Our Community

We believe that everyone can make a difference, but only through action. MDG recognizes the need for sustainable solutions to the world’s largest problems: Lack of accessible food Limited access to clean water, and Poor sanitation and disease These issues compel us...

Global Leader in Bacillus Fermentation Exhibits at RAFT®15

Oak Creek, WI (October 17, 2023) - Microbial Discovery Group (MDG) is exhibiting at Recent Advances in Fermentation Technology (RAFT®) 15th conference on October 29-November 1, 2023. The Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (SIMB) organized the...

Bacillus Manufacturing and R&D Company Exhibits at Aquatech Amsterdam

Microbial Discovery Group Exhibits and Presents Bioaugmentation Success in Wastewater Oak Creek, WI (October 3, 2023) - Microbial Discovery Group (MDG) will exhibit at Aquatech Amsterdam 2023, the world’s leading trade exhibition for process, drinking, and wastewater,...

Trusted Process: MDG’s Gold Standard

MDG’s customer-centric approach to quality manufacturing and support ensures consistent, repeatable results for our customers. This is done through our trusted process; our gold standard at MDG. Can you be confident in our manufacturing process yielding consistent...

Bacillus-based Cleaning with Jennifer Cray

This is MDG The: Podcast with experts in the field of microbiology, teaching us about the world we live in and how Bacillus is shaping it. We put this summary together taken from the transcript, for more details and to hear straight from Jenny, head to the podcast!...

50+ Strains: Why We Supply

  Part of what is driving Microbial Discovery Group’s (MDG) current expansion is our desire to produce 50+ strains. Why do we want to be a Bacillus company that produces 50+ strains? Essentially, to offer the best service and products for our customers. Below are...

What is bioaugmentation?

At MDG, we continue to discover all the possibilities to treat wastewater with Bacillus. Through years of research and development, we’ve found that bioaugmentation is the answer for wastewater treatment. Bioaugmentation is the process of adding scientifically...

Related News