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Jennifer Hesser

hesserj [at]

Academic Interests: 

I am an M.S. student in the College of Veterinary Medicine.  I'm working in Dr. Chris Langdon's lab, and my project is focused on how probiotics induce disease resistance in Pacific oyster larvae. Oyster larvae are highly susceptible to infection by the marine bacteria, Vibrio coralliilyticus (Vcor)Vcor can be a major problem in oyster hatcheries and cause mass mortality events. Chris and his collaborators have isolated four probiotics that have proven to protect the Pacific oyster larvae from mortality and improve settlement rates. Our hypothesis is that the probiotics induce the oyster's innate immune response to help protect themselves from the bacterial infection. For my project, I am going to focus on one of the probiotic isolates and complete RNA sequencing to investigate how the probiotic and Vcor cause differential expression of immune genes in the larvae.