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Researchers: Algae could fight Great Lakes invasive species

DETROIT (WKZO) -- Algae might be able to disrupt the spread of invasive zebra-and-quagga mussels in the Great Lakes.

Wayne State University biologist Donna Kashian says preliminary tests show that algae produce chemicals which might discourage the invasive mussels from spawning. Zebra-and-quagga mussels have caused widespread environmental damage in the Great Lakes since the 1980's, when they began arriving in the ballast tanks of incoming foreign ships.

Kashian and researcher Jeffrey Ram are now trying to determine how the lake algae telegraphs their chemical releases. Knowing that could provide new strategies for controlling the mussels, so toxic chemicals would not have to be used.