Wild harvesting and farming of seaweed for food, feed, fertiliser and alginate is a rapidly growing industry. In the UK, the demand for seaweed for food has soared in recent years, and several species are now being sold as ‘super foods’. Located in the South West, The Cornish Seaweed Company is the largest English company sustainably wild harvesting and cultivating a range of native seaweeds including Saccharina lattisima (sugar kelp) and Palmaria palmata (dulse). Sugar kelp is one of the most important largescale economically cultivated seaweeds in Europe. Dulse is the most sought-after culinary seaweed but with limited stock in Europe and fast-growing demand. Disease triggered by pathogenic microbes is increasingly recognized as a major factor in the global degradation of natural marine ecosystems. Diseases also have an important economic impact, decreasing the yield of farmed seaweeds (global value of US$ 6 billion p.a. (World Bank 2016)) by at least 40 %. Bleaching spot (BS) 50/95 disease, for which we have identified Pseudoalteromona sarctica and Pseudoaltero monas piscicida as causative agents (M. Saha, unpublished data), can decrease sugar kelp and dulse yields in both nursery and field cultivations.
The main aims of the project are:
(a) to enhance fundamental knowledge on seaweed infectious diseases
(b) to apply this knowledge to improve aquaculture practices and maximise yield in seaweed farming in the South West and beyond.
For more information: https://www.findaphd.com/phds/project/seaweed-diseases-understanding-seaweed-host-pathogen-interactions-to-improve-commercial-seaweed-production-phd-in-medical-sciences-studentship-bbsrc-swbio-dtp-funded/?p124562