A Pilot Study of Genetic Resilience and Diversity among Eelgrass (Zostera marina) Populations in the New England Coastal Region

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Project Type: 

Students Involved:

Michael Cassella University of New Hampshire
Kati Kluck University of New Hampshire

Faculty Advisors:

Anita Klein UNH - Department of Biological Sciences
This project was designed as an investigation to probe the genetic factors influencing genetic population structure for three populations: two populations from Great Bay in New Hampshire and one population from Duck Harbor in Wellfleet, Mass. The project was meant to serve as a complement to a larger project sponsored by The Nature Conservancy to study the genetic makeup of Eelgrass populations in Northeastern coastal and estuarine areas. The purpose of this study was to develop an understanding of the populations’ genetic structure to aid in restoration management of the declining species.
Eelgrass samples from Great Bay and Duck Harbor were analyzed using the methods of DNA isolation, amplification and fragment analysis, but very few results were produced for unknown reasons. A major portion of the project was devoted to investigations of various components of the DNA processing, including the DNA extraction to PCR amplification of the microsatellite loci.


Available from the National Sea Grant Library (use NHU number to search) or NH Sea Grant


  • A pilot study of genetic resilience and diversity among eelgrass ("Zostera marina") populations in the New England coastal region (2012). Michael Cassella and Kati Kluck. Advisor: Anita Klein.