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Student Research Projects

Antibacterial/Antifungal properties of the nudibranch Doriopsilla pharpa and its sponge prey Cliona sp.

Student David Curran
Faculty Mentor(s) Dr. Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson
Department Biology
Course BIO 489: Research in the Natural Sciences


Nudibranchs have previously been observed to utilize chemical defenses in an effort to deter predators. The chemical defense in many species is sequestered from their prey diet. The purpose of this study is to test the cytotoxic activity of a commonly occurring nudibranch, Doriopsilla pharpa (Marcus, 1961) from the Chesapeake Bay. Doriopsilla pharpa has been observed feeding primarily on Cliona sp. In the bay. Slugs and their prey were collected along the Atlantic Coast of the Eastern Shore via dredging. Crude extracts of D. pharpa and Cliona sp. were prepared and antimicrobial and antifungal activity of the extracts were tested with bacterial and fungal species.


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