Objective:To determine if Nramp in striped bass is a critically important locus for resistance to mycobacteriosis, as it is in mice and humans.
The natural resistance-associated macrophage protein (Nramp) determines susceptibility to mycobacterial diseases, such as tuberculosis, in mammals. Mice and humans with mutations in Nramp are much more likely to suffer from mycobacterial infections than individuals that possess a functional Nramp gene. Research on the role of Nramp in striped bass is being pursued by a combination of molecular biological and immunological techniques. The gene has been sequenced from striped bass and predicted to encode a protein very similar to the mammalian form. Striped bass reared in the laboratory and artificially infected with mycobacteria show up to a 20-fold increase in expression of this gene within one day of infection. Testing of cells from wild striped bass to determine if they also respond to mycobacteria in this way is currently being conducted. If Nramp functions similarly in striped bass as it does in mammals this research will provide a useful gene for the breeding of mycobacteriosis-resistant striped bass for aquaculture and expands our knowledge of the immunology and disease resistance in fish.
Graduage Student Investigator:
- Erin Burge