Term of Award

Fall 2021

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Biology

Committee Chair

J. Scott Harrison

Committee Member 1

John Carroll

Committee Member 2

Stephen Greiman


The Eastern Oyster, Crassostrea virginica, is an ecologically important species that plays a role in protecting shorelines, water filtration, and providing habitat and food for various fish species. Perkinsus marinus and Haplosporidium nesloni are two pathogens currently affecting oyster populations. These pathogens have both been documented as causes of mass mortality events along the East coast. They greatly diminish the health of oysters, resulting in the degradation of oyster tissue, reduction in growth and reproductive ability, and may cause death. In this study, wild oysters were collected from eleven locations along the Georgia coast to investigate the presence, intensity, and impact on the health of local populations. The condition of each oyster was calculated during processing, and qPCR was used to determine the presence and intensity of both P. marinus and H. nelsoni. Additionally, population genetic structure and kinship within and among populations was examined using 20 microsatellite loci. Results showed that >90% of oysters tested were infected by one or both pathogens, and 48.8% of these were cases of co-infection. Intensity of infection varied significantly across sites for both P. marinus and H. nelsoni (p =

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material