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Founded in 1991, the objectives of the Recombinant DNA Group (RDG) are to research and explore areas of biology of interest to Dr. R. Powell using recombinant DNA technology. These aspects currently include: (i) molecular microbial ecology and biodiversity, (ii) genetic studies of the bacterial fish pathogen Aeromonas salmonicida, and (iii) the genes and genomes of salmonid fish and other aquaculture-associated species. The RDG is typically composed of between six and twelve persons, the majority of whom are usually postgraduate students undertaking Ph.D. degrees. It has a annual research budget of approximately 100,000 and the RDG gratefully acknowledges the financial support received from national agencies including Enterprise Ireland, BioResearch Ireland, the Marine Institute, and the Higher Education Authority, and also international agencies including the E.U. FAR, AIR, FAIR and QoL framework research programmes. The RDG has been, or is currently, involved in research collaborations with research groups and companies in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Finland, Greece, Holland, Iceland, Ireland, India, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S.A.

Previous and current research projects include:

The bacterial fish pathogen Aeromonas salmonicida

Development of DNA-based detection systems; gene cloning and identification; strain typing using RAPD and PFGE methods, and comparative SSU rRNA gene sequence analysis.

Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and related species

Development of microsatellite-based genome maps; population genetics using microsatellite-based PCR assays; gene cloning and identification using ESTs.

Uncultured bacterioplankton including Archaea species

Molecular ecological and phylogenetic analyses of SSU rRNA genes retrieved from Irish coastal waters.

Echinoderm species

Molecular ecological studies using RAPD methodology; phylogenetic studies based comparative analysis of SSU and LSU rRNA gene sequences.

The salmon louse Lepeophtheirus salmonis

Development of, and population analysis using, microsatellite-based PCR assays.

Other selected species

Population analysis of natural sea bass populations using microsatellite-based PCR assays; identification of genes associated with female infertility in sheep; identification of genes involved in ovary development in cattle.


Department of Microbiology, National University of Ireland, Galway.